Washington, May 10: Everyone should be careful while searching for websites. Few dark websites can cheat anyone. In the United States, the Justice Department has shut down a major directory of dark web drug marketplaces and arrested the alleged owners in what federal prosecutors say is a first-of-its-kind operation. The two men accused of running DeepDotWeb allegedly earned millions in kickbacks for providing access to dark web marketplaces for illicit drugs.
"This is the single most significant law enforcement disruption of the darknet to date," U.S. Attorney Scott Brady said at a news conference Wednesday in Pittsburgh to announce the charges and the closing of the site DeepDotWeb. The website also provided access to marketplaces for firearms, including assault rifles, and for malicious software and hacking tools. The website also provided access to marketplaces for firearms, including assault rifles, and for malicious software and hacking tools.
The so-called darknet or dark web is a part of the internet that can be accessed only by specialized software or hardware and contains clandestine websites not found through normal search engines. DeepDotWeb was a regular searchable website that provided a directory with direct access to a host of darknet marketplaces selling illegal narcotics including fentanyl, cocaine, heroin and meth.
The alleged owners, Tal Prihar, 37, and Michael Phan, 34, both from Israel, were arrested Monday, Prihar in France and Phan in Israel, where they remain in custody. They each face a single count of money laundering conspiracy in the U.S. Phan also faces charges in Israel.
In July 2017, federal authorities in the U.S. shut down the AlphaBay and Hansa drug markets. But within days another darknet market had already picked up most of the listings, highlighting the challenge authorities face. Directories are the way many customers find darknet marketplaces, and the closure of a major directory was a first for the Justice Department.
What are the dark websites?
The dark web is the World Wide Web content that exists on darknets, overlay networks that use the Internet but require specific software, configurations, or authorization to access. The dark web forms a small part of the deep web, the part of the Web not indexed by web search engines, although sometimes the term deep web is mistakenly used to refer specifically to the dark web.
It includes friend-to-friend peer-to-peer networks, as well as large, popular networks like Tor, Freenet, I2P, and Riffle operated by public organizations and individuals