Exuberant about the day’s occurrences, I accessed my email to attend to the communications that required immediate response and to discard the remaining insignificant ones. What I discovered in one of the communications that day, dampened my spirits for the rest of the week. It declared that it was SOLD! If I am the owner, “who sold it and to whom?” and I asked this question repeatedly to myself until I was mentally exhausted. “What’s worse is that I haven’t even seen an all-green Google dashboard in my life!” I thought to myself. Shouldn’t it be multicolored? Is this a hoax or a conspiracy hatched against me? Who the heck is Oliver Johnson anyways? Why would I want to sell my self-publishing business named ‘WORDMAGIC PUBLISHING’ when there are books authored by me on online retailers’ websites bearing that name and logo or ISBNs associated with my business name? Not when I am paying about $216 US dollars for a business premium plan and approximately $80 for the business email. I realized that the hackers have been following my blogs as I had announced in one of those blogs that I would be finishing my historical fiction or memoir by the end of February. And I was glad that I hadn’t. My access to the business Wix site, business email, blog site, business-related Microsoft Teams etc., was blocked and I went through the inconvenience of requesting the concerned WIX team or WordPress team to provide me a password reset link and activated the two-step authentication to prevent such issues in the future.
It was then that I came face-to-face with the villainous platform or the Upside Down Of ‘Stranger Things’ called the ‘Dark Web’. As an author, I am familiar with the process of depicting characters with a dark side or adding depth to characterization. As an internet user, now I am compelled to know the difference between dark web and deep web. Paranoia propelled me to plunge into the World wide web or surface web to access information about these and I was surprised to learn that deep web which holds information about individuals’ email accounts, social media and online banking account, business companies’ private databases, academic and scientific databases, medical records, and legal document as a positive as it protects the individuals’ information and privacy. The dark web, on the other hand, famous for illegal and disturbing materials such as stolen information, the outcome of data breach, illegal and prescription drugs besides poisonous chemicals, dangerous services such as body parts, hiring assassins, human trafficking, child pornography, guns etc. Apart from anonymity, dark web offers privacy and security to criminals and hackers by allowing financial transactions in Cryptocurrency.
While it was a relief to learn that criminals doing business on Silk Road, Alpha Bay, Hansa have been brought to the books, there are many other thriving dark web businesses that needs to be incapacitated altogether. It is both heartening and disheartening to discover that the good and the bad are using Artificial Intelligence to achieve their goals. The presence of products such as Norton 360 Premium, which guarantees dark web monitoring, only proves that the dark web is becoming an overwhelming issue. However, poetic justice must be restored and cyber security professionals must put an end to cyber criminals’ never ending dark schemes.