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Professional miners work together in pools and will sometimes run a series of rigs setup with dual video cards Graphics Processing Units for the highest turnout rate. The much simpler method of collecting bitcoins is to transfer in your own cash, or alternatively provide service work. A lot of btc users are willing to trade coins for Internet marketing, web design, development, and similar odd jobs. But moving cash into your bitcoin address or wallet is also just as simple. The ultimate goal is to use this alternate currency and hold our reserve coins in some type of wallet.
Then we can use a unique wallet ID or bitcoin address to shop where bitcoins are accepted. This coin archive can either run through a desktop software or a third-party browser solution. Those who value ultimate safety and security will want to keep their bitcoin assets local, i. But I feel more comfortable using online wallets, as I have direct access to my accounts from any computer. Now putting aside the possible earnings from buying and selling the currency itself, you can purchase a lot of things with bitcoins!
But if you truly want a catalog of shops, you cannot go wrong with the official bitcoin trade wiki. This includes a detailed list of physical and digital items you can purchase with no shortages of URLs. These categories include clothing, video games, books, electronics, and so much more.
But there are a lot of underground networks within the Tor project which discussed bitcoins as the next level of our world economy. And both of these technologies are only in the early stages of adoption and development. I feel the problem with a lot of monetary solutions is a general lack in privacy and security.
Getting Started To access this network of proxies you only need to download their package software. Onion Routing This new technology is used within the Tor network to communicate hosts with darknet websites. Collecting and Exchanging Coins Although it is an exciting endeavor, the average btc user does not spend time mining for bitcoins.
Conclusion The underground Tor network and bitcoin marketplace are just two examples of emerging technologies. Show Comments. Hence, search engines will not show the results, or crawl to a document or file, which is unindexed by the worldwide web. The content lies behind HTML forms, which is the basic storage mechanism of web pages. Regular search engines crawl and searchs are derived from the interconnected servers that they have access to. So, let's take a look at one of these search type engines.
One of the ones that used to be in existence out there and now no longer is is called Grams. A lot of these websites come up and down all the time. But in this particular example, I just went to the search browser and typed in cocaine. And when I hit the search engine, it came up with various number of Dark Net sites that allow me access to purchase cocaine in various amounts, sizes, and from different locations. So, depending upon where I wanted to get it shipped from or depending upon the volume or the amount I wanted, I've got the ability to use these type of search sites to go out to the Dark Web.
So a lot of these sites aren't openly accessible. There isn't just a place to go and look them up. So, some websites have popped up, and one of them here is called the deep dot web. On here, they give you a list on the Surface Web of a lot of things that are happening out on the Dark Web. Where to go. Websites you can go to. Marketplaces you can go to, and blogs and forums that you can join. They also have a equivalent of a.
And if you can go and access it through the onion address, you can directly link to these websites while you're in the Dark Web. It's also a new site dedicated to events in and surrounding the Dark Web, featuring in-depth interviews and reviews about dark net markets, Tor hidden services, legal actions, privacy, bitcoin, and other really big news. So, let's take a look at some of the Dark Net markets. I"m going to describe basically what a dark net market is.
What it is, it's the equivalent of Amazon, but in the Dark Web. So, if you wanted to use Amazon to go and buy a set of speakers for your computer, you would open up Amazon and type in what you were looking for. Computer speakers. And you would get a series of customers who are willing to sell that product to you. You can browse and see the prices, the types, how much they're willing to sell it, if there's shipping costs.
The Dark Web has the exact same thing. And your equivalent is called a Dark Net market. And these Dark Net markets do the exact same thing that Amazon does. But, their categories are a little bit different. As you can see on this page, you can browse for categories for fraud, drug and chemicals, guides and tutorials, counterfeit items, jewelry and gold, weapons, et cetera.
So, categories are different than what you would see on Amazon, but the look and feel are the same. Even on this page here, you can see postings for particular featured items. Now out on the dark web, people don't operate under their normal real name. That's why they've got here.
They're here because they want to be anonymous. So when they're there, they have a user name or a user handle to go by, and they come up and make a fake name. In this particular example, we've got a user name of angrydragon And with that, this person now can operate underneath that name.
And everyone out on the Dark Web knows them as that name, and that's the name that you operate under, that's the name you communicate with, that's what you buy under, and that's what you sell under. And the main reason is, people want to have confidence in who they're dealing with.
They may never have met this person in real life, but, in operating underneath this name now, now they can go out and see, hey, who is this person? This is the person I want to communicate with. I don't know who their real name is. I don't know where they live. But I know and possibly can trust this person to interact with and do transactions with. And a lot of these websites that are out there allow you to basically rate the transactions as well.
So, if I want to buy some heroin, and I click on this, I would look at what kind of rating that this person had, and they would either have four or five stars, just like you would see on Amazon. It's no different. And the main reason why they want to do that is if somebody starts to get bad ratings because they're now sending out what they had promised, then nobody's going to transact with them.
So, it is a self-sustaining market that works because of the anonymity and for this feedback. So this type of website basically allows for people to do anything that they want. Now, this AlphaBay Market is no longer active. It was taken down by law enforcement. On July 20th of last year. It was a globally coordinated operation between law enforcement agencies worldwide.
It offered a bunch of different listings, including illegal drugs, firearms, and stolen personal identifying information. Payment was regulated using bitcoins. And that's another significant thing with these types of Dark Net marketplaces, is they don't take credit cards.
They take virtual currency. And they take different types of virtual currency depending upon what's being sold. So, if it is a transaction for some PII, which is personally identifiable information for someone else, maybe that particular seller will only take bitcoins. And so you would then transact with this person using bitcoins rather than real money.
Other vendors may only take Manero or Ethereum. And so depending upon the type of payment that they'll take will depend upon how you conduct that transaction with them. No different than what you see out on Amazon or e-Bay or something else like that. E-Bay may say, hey, we'll take Paypal, we'll take credit card, but we won't take checks. This operates the same way, but it's with virtual currency.
They also have escrow accounts as well to protect buyers and sellers. It would allow you to go in and basically make a payment, and the escrow company on the Dark Web would hold that until you agreed that, yes, I got this, and now I feel comfortable releasing the money.
So there's also that set in there as well that helps protect both sides, if you will. So I'm going to talk a little bit more about the AlphaBay Market takedown. So AlphaBay was reportedly launched in September of At the time, it had about 14, new users in the first 90 days of operation. Dark Net informal website placed AlphaBay Market at the top tier of the markets in the first six months that it had been operating.
In May of , the site announced an integrated digital contracts in escrow system, which I had talked about. October of , it had over , users. And by the time it was taken down in July of , it had over , users. AlphaBay was known in the world of dark markets for accepting other currency types other than bitcoin.
It had support for Manero and other types of crypto currency. Some interesting articles that came out about AlphaBay Market were, in March of , AlphaBay made the news for selling stolen Uber accounts. Uber had made a statement regarding the potential data breach. We investigated and found no evidence of a breach. Attempting to fraudently access or sell accounts is illegal and we notified the authorities about this report.
It's a good opportunity to remind people to use strong unique user names and passwords and avoid re-using credentials across multiple sites and services. In , London-based telecommunications company, TalkTalk, sustained a major attack. The stolen data was put on sale on AlphaBay, which led to the arrest of a year-old boy who had done the hack. In December of , a website called code breaker released a podcast describing shopping experience on the marketplace.
The podcast talked about purchasing illegal items on the marketplace such as pharmaceutical drugs. Expert claims it has links to the country's Mafia and has proven impossible to shut down. Silk Road was also taken down by the United States as well. It had over 39, listings, , users, and was facilitating between and , transactions per day. By the time the first service began, Diaz used his hot mail address, and this would be Alex, the main organizer of this particular Dark Net marketplace.
And this is how we as the United States ended up figuring out who this was. He had used a pseudonym to run the sites, which he had previously used in other carding forums in This is where it comes into when I was describing before about when you pick a user name, everyone sticks to it on the Dark Net market sites, because if you move and change user names, you have to rebuild up your credibility.
Diaz's laptop reportedly contained unencrypted personal net worth tapping to all of his global assets across jurisdictions at the time he was captured. He also had servers which contained multiple and consistently unencrypted crypto currency wallets. That's where the majority of his profits went.
Assets were liquidated through proceeds were held in a variety of accounts directly related to Diaz's wife and companies they owned in Thailand, or directly held in personal accounts in Liechtenstein, Cypress, Switzerland, and Antigua. The statements about the goal on his site that he launched in and his goal was to become the largest e-Bay style under world marketplace.
In May of , law enforcement was active on the site. Transferring of false IDs, trafficking illegal device, and making equipment and conspiracy to commit money laundering. A warrant was issued for his arrest in Thailand by the end of June. In early July of , Canadian police raided a company in Montreal. It was his company and it was the reported location of the physical servers as well as two residential properties. He expectedly committed suicide while he was in custody of the narcotics division in Bangkok.
His wife has also been reported to be charged with money laundering, and by the end of July, the site was shut down. So that's just one example of one of the investigations that we end up doing. There were many other sites that we have taken down, but AlphaBay was one of the main ones.
Why don't we go ahead and go to our next polling question. Let's do it. So, our third polling question for this afternoon is: What is the name of a Dark Net market? Click on the radio button that you believe most closely answers this question. If your radio button isn't working, click on the Ask Question feature and submit your answer there.
All you need to do is submit either A, B, C, or D. Let's stop the polling now, and we'll share the correct response on the next slide. And the answer is, C, AlphaBay. You know, this is very sober -- very interesting, and I must say sobering information. You know, for the CPA that's out there wondering the connection to what we do through tax and investments, will this be part of the discussion as well, or is this presented to help us understand what's out in the Wide World Web?
We've got the, this is what the Dark Web is and this is what happens out there. And the connection to the CPA and the tax -- because, again, I'm a criminal investigator with the Internal Revenue Service, and all of these things impact tax administration and the collection of the appropriate taxes that need to be paid. All of these industries are taxable when you talk about drugs and money laundering and all of these things.
If there's a profit being generated, it has to be taxed as well, in addition to it being money laundering. Now, from the CPA perspective, the biggest thing to take away is this is where the CPAs and small businesses, they get hit and they get hit hard. So, what we have seen and we've been working on is there are websites out there that are specifically dedicated to supplying access to CPA firms and tax preparation companies and their service.
How about that? Thank you. So what we're seeing out there is the identity theft that's occurring. Is that we are having the malicious software that's out there is being downloaded inadvertently or intentionally onto computers' machines. And when that happens, it gives access to that particular computer. And CPAs and tax preparers, they're the ones that have the majority of the information. So I'm going to get in and talk in a little bit more depth later about that.
But that's going to be the connection to the CPA and the tax preparers that are out there, is knowing what is out there on the Dark Web, knowing what occurs out there, and that you're subject to your information being out there as well because it either was stolen or captured at some point in time. Looks like some of my client's info has been stolen. Well now you know where it goes when it's stolen.
I'm glad you're going to get into that just a little bit more. So, thanks for that. So we got through our polling question. Why don't we continue on the next slide. The next thing I'm going to talk on a little bit here is the opioid crisis. And the reason why I'm touching on these other avenues of crime that are occurring out there is these things are what are supporting the other type of financial crimes that are occurring.
Personally identifying information. PII, personal identifying information. A lot of that is being done specific to help and support different drug habits like the opioid crisis that's going on right now. So I'm going to quickly touch on that, what's occurring out on the Dark Web right now.
And we're seeing that pop up more and more on the Dark Web itself. With this, the root causes of the current crisis are complex. And one of the solutions federal agencies have developed and implemented to help stem the tide of opioids coming into communities is relatively simple and straightforward. Leveraging the unique authorities and broad resources of HSI to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat the transnational criminal organizations and disrupt networks responsible for the current crisis identifying and targeting upper echelon traffickers, seizing their assets, and holding them accountable for the destruction they are responsible for.
To accomplish this, HSI is determined to target these individuals along with other federal agencies, wherever they are located, including in the deep recesses of cyber space. As a result, those who traffic in opioids, particularly within the Dark Web, are a top priority of the federal agencies. Dangerous and often fatal substances such as Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids as well as heroin and illicitly obtained prescription opioids are increasingly being distributed online via the Dark Web, requiring new and innovative technologies that law enforcement must implement.
So the other thing to remember with this whole opioid crisis and everything that's going on, this all comes back to money, and allowing money that's being transacted on the Dark Web, almost all of it is being done through virtual currency. And this is the other avenue that [indiscernible] comes into, is there is a very large subset of people that are using virtual currency to conduct illegal activities. So, if you're a CPA and you have a client that is involved in this type of activity in terms of operating with virtual currency, it may be worthwhile to inquire as to what are they using it for.
Because some of this virtual currency is being used in the Dark Web for illegal activity. Let's go ahead and go to the next slide. This is a package -- a picture of a package of opioid type material and drugs that are being delivered through the postal system. And one of the ways that you can do this in terms of this information being -- the drugs themselves being moved through our postal service is because of the Dark Web.
Let's go to the next slide. The personnel at C3 are devoted to spearheading and coordinating transnational investigators that originates from illicit trafficking of opioids within the Dark Web. Federal agents, intelligence analysts and other personnel assigned to C3 have spent years honing and refining their skills in penetrating and navigating the Dark Web and routinely collaborate with each other, the personnel domestically and overseas to develop investigative strategies that have been critical in piercing the anonymity of users and administrators in Dark Net marketplaces.
Training has been increased along with intelligence, which is a critical pillar in a multi-pronged strategy to the newly enhanced online undercover capacity that has been highly successful in penetrating these online narcotics distribution networks. Go to the next slide.
The digital nature of all of these things also leads back into the financial component we were talking about. The data you see during these previous Dark Web investigations, in many cases aggregated by federal agents and other law enforcement agencies to be made available for them to work their investigation. Forgive me. It sounds like your microphone is failing out on us again. So, I'm just going to ask you to tap that thing or something and see if we can -- the producers are telling us that our audio is giving us a little bit more difficulty.
So, be patient with us, folks. James, if you could give it a try again, we'd certainly appreciate it. How does this sound? Is that any better? That is better. And so money laundering is the main key that runs into us from an investigation standpoint, that that's how we as IRS criminal investigation again get involved in these narcotics type transactions and investigations.
So the next thing we're going to talk about is ransomware, and ransomware is a type of malicious software that threatens to punish the victim's data or potentially lock access to it unless a ransom is paid.
While some simple ransomware may lock the system in a way which is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse, more advanced malware uses a technique called crypto viral extortion, which it encrypts the victim's files, making them inaccessible and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them. In a particularly implemented crypto file extortion attack, recovering the files without the decryption key is almost impossible and difficult to trace digital currencies such as cash and bitcoin are used to make ransoms making tracing and prosecution of the perpetrators difficult.
Ransomware attacks are typically being carried out using a Trojan that is disguised as a legitimate file that the user is tricked into downloading or opening it when it arrives in an email attachment. However, one high profile example, the WannaCry worm, traveled automatically between computers without user interaction. The WannaCry virus began in May with evidence pointing to its initial infection from Asia was likely through an exposed vulnerable server message block port rather than an email phishing, as it was initially assumed.
Within a day, the code was reported to have affected computers in over countries. Organizations that had not installed the Microsoft security update in April of were affected by the attack. Those still running an unsupported version of Microsoft Windows such as XP Or Windows Servers were particularly high risk because no security patches had been released since April Lab study report showed that less than.
In a controlled testing environment, the cyber security firm found that they were unable to infect an XP system with WannaCry just using exploits. As the payload failed to load or cause the operating system to crash rather than execute encryption files. Worldwide cyber attack of WannaCry ransom crypto worm which targeted computers running the Microsoft windows operating system, by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the bitcoin crypto currency.
It propagated through an exploit in an owner's Windows system released by the shadow brokers a few months prior to the attack. While Microsoft released patches previously close to the exploit, much of WannaCry has spread from organizations that had not applied these, or were using older Windows systems that were part of the -- past their end of life. WannaCry took advantage of installing back doors onto infected systems. The attack was stopped within a few days of discovery due to emergency patches released by Microsoft.
And the discovery of the kill switch that prevented affected computers from spreading WannaCry further. One of the largest agencies struck by the attack was the national Health Service Hospitals in England, and over , devices including computers and MRI scanners, blood storage refrigerators, and computer equipment have been affected. NHS services had to turn away non-critical emergencies and some ambulances were diverted.
Nissan motor was also affected out the UK where they had to halt production after the ransomware infected some of their systems. Indiscernable also stopped production in several sites in an attempt to stop the spread of the ransomware. So let's take a look at what some of the results are of using ransomware. PHILIP YAMALIS: I want to point out, thank goodness that Microsoft was able to come up with a patch to clean up WannaCry, but as you and I both know, and seeing reports of practitioner breaches, we still know that malware, it's downloaded by somebody just clicking on a hyperlink in an email that looks official.
And that ransomware still can easily be downloaded on a tax practitioner's computer, you know, having all this personally identifying information that can really haunt their business down the road. And that's actually one of the things that we're seeing happening right now, is that tax practitioners are either having an issue downloading some ransomware or malware onto their machine unknowingly, and we are working active investigations right now where there is one site where somebody in the Dark Web can go to, and call and look up a list of all of the affected computers, and it's a list that kind of looks like what we saw before in terms of a Amazon style page, where you can sort by country, you can sort by computer type, you can sort by the type of access that you can get to the computer.
Now, the interesting thing on this is one of the things that this malware does when it gets installed on the machine is goes through and checks to see what's installed on that machine. So, I can actually go in and look at all of the information about a particular computer, and the first thing that we noticed for us when we were doing our investigations was that it was accounting for and finding tax preparation software. Which would then let the person know looking at this potential computer that they wanted to get access to, that this is a potential taxpayer, or tax preparer, and that they have all of their client information on this machine.
Now, what I can do then is through this website is purchase access to that machine. I can get the administrator password and administrator log-in to log into this machine remotely, go in, get all of the CPA's information, get all of the tax preparer's information, get copies of all of the tax returns, and turn around and close my connection without that person even knowing I had done it. We're seeing this all across the world.
Should I pay the ransom? And one of the schools of thought from the government's perspective says that -- oh, I'm getting some real feedback now. There we go. One of the schools of thought is, no, you shouldn't pay it. Because if you end up paying, you're perpetuating the ability for these people to go out and do this. The other school of thought says, well, if you don't have any backups and you don't have your data maintained somewhere else, you may not have a choice to attempt to do it.
Now, that's not to say that they will or won't send it. That, I don't know. It kind of just depends on who it is and, you know, what they're willing to pay and what they're willing to do. So, it's hard to say which is which, but it's kind of up in the air. I personally can't advise one way or the other as to what to do. Now let's go back to the ransomware slide. This is what it looks like then if ransomware comes across your screen and you start to panic, right?
So if this is what comes up on your screen, this is where you're being notified that ransomware has been downloaded to your machine and that your files -- potentially all of them -- have been encrypted. And in this particular one, the only way to unencrypt it would be to pay this fee. Now, there are some services out there, other computer specialists that may be able to assist you depending upon the level of encryption or sophistication, but I think the biggest thing to note out of all of this is that you want to make sure that you're not downloading any software that you don't recognize, and that you're not clicking on any links from within emails or web pages that you're not familiar with, because that's a majority of where all of these things occur is through there.
Now and intersting thing from the last presentation we did, you notice on here, it says bitcoins accepted here, and then there's a bitcoin address. Now this bitcoin address that's in this page right here can visually be seen on the block chain, and in the last presentation, we talked a little bit about that. This is one of the ways that we in law enforcement now have the ability to potentially track these transactions.
If we see this web address receiving money now, then we can potentially go in and follow that transaction as to where somebody may convert it back from this type of virtual currency, being bitcoin, back to a currency being U. Let's go to the next page. One of the interesting things to note on this particular one is it's telling you how to get to the Dark Web to make a payment.
That it gives you specific dot onion addresses, and even tells you how to download the Tor software needed to get there. So, depending upon who it is and how it was encrypted will depend upon how they want to be paid. The previous one would allow you to pay via the Surface Web, using bitcoin, where this one is actually requiring you to go to the Dark Web to become unencrypted. And again, it's just another reminder that backing up all of your data, keeping an off site backup of your stuff is highly important because of this particular scenario.
Whereas if you do have all of your stuff backed up that hasn't been unencrypted by ransomware or malware or some other means, then you're in a much better position to not have to worry about this and just reinstall the data that you've got. So one of the other interesting things that we're seeing is the difference between the ransomware and combining it with potential mining.
So what we're seeing now is a combination of the two. Rather than going through and stealing, requiring people to pay money to have their files unencrypted, they're moving to a new concept called crypto jacking, and basically what this is, it's led to the eventual and predictable shift from cyber criminals not only crypto jacking, but also installing malware with the sole purpose of using it as an end point that isn't theirs to mine the crypto currency.
It's a smart strategy if you're a cyber criminal. Why not try and ransom someone else's machine -- or why would you try to ransom someone else's machine and wait for them to pay, when you can just leverage their computer to do mining for you? Crypto jacking is one of the more illicit uses of an end point of a computer. There are a number of ways to actually do this, but one of the more persuasive models comes in the form of a script created by Coin Hive.
If you think of a normal web-based marketing model, it serves ads on web pages to generate revenue for the site and drive customers to whoever the advertiser wants. This model, as annoying and persuasive as it is, has helped fuel the growth of the Internet. What Coin Hive did was change that model. Instead of serving ads while watching content or visiting websites, the script will run and use your computer's browser as a crypto currency miner.
This actually presents an upside and allows people who want to donate to charities by monetizing their CPU. But the problem begins to show up when looking at how easy it is to inject malicious code into the websites. Cyber criminals quickly started using these types of scripts and piggy backed on existing injection techniques. This has occurred for legitimate websites as well as for malicious ones.
And it's got so persuasive that it actually started to damage people's mobile phones. Crypto mining malware grew from there. In January of , researchers identified unique pieces of crypto mining malware alone. As with other profitable malware models, the cyber criminals will continue to innovate, obfuscate, and try to evade existing inpoint prevention capabilities, the problem will persist until the model no longer becomes profitable.
Ransomware and crypto mining malware will continue to be a thing. As long as there's a profit, the cyber criminals will continue to use it as an avenue of attack. I would expect to see the same innovation and invasion we have seen from ransomware continue to evolve in this next form of extortion.
Stopping this form of malware requires the same approach we've always taken to stop other pieces of malware. The intention of malware may be different, but prevention detection and response to them are the same. The next slide shows an example of what and how easy it is on the Dark Web to buy your own ransomware. And it comes with the instructions itself on how to actually modify it and install it on other people's machines. You can actually set the amount of time somebody's got to pay you and include the bitcoin address you want them to pay you at to have it unencrypted.
You don't have to know how to write any code whatsoever in order to create your own ransomware. This particular one gives the victim 96 hours to pay to have their computer unlocked. After 96 hours, data starts disappearing and it's fully undetectable at this point, until the owner pays to access his personal information, the ransomware will start deleting files at random. Eventually, if the bounty is never paid, there won't be any files left to recover.
The last thing I want to talk about on the Dark Web are bots, an Internet bot, which is a software application that runs automated tasks or scripts over the Internet. Typically, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive and at a much higher rate than possible for the human alone. The largest use of bots is in web spidering or web crawling, which is an automated script that fetches, analyzes, and files information from web servers as many times the speed of the human.
More than half of all web traffic is made up of bots. Efforts by servers hosting websites to counteract bots vary. Servers may choose to outline rules on the behavior of Internet bots by implementing a bots file protocol. This file is simply a text file stating the rules that govern the bot's ability and behavior on that computer. Any bot interacting with or spidering any server that does not allow to follow these rules should in theory deny access to or remove from the effective site.
It's the only rule implemented by a server is a posted text file with no associated program software or application, then adhering to these rules becomes entirely voluntary. Some bots are good, IE search engines and spiders, while others could be used to launch malicious and harsh attacks, most notably in political campaigns.
These can be installed on your machine and sit there for a while until they become activated by the main creator or a main server and will wait until they get told what to do. So this is just one of the many things that are out there that come from the Dark Web, that interact in our normal daily lives. But I think now would be a good time to turn it over to have some questions. Before I do that, let me go to our final polling question, and ask the question.
What do hackers use to encrypt files and force someone to pay to have them unencrypted? Please take a minute. Click on the radio button you believe most closely answers this question or submit your answer on the Ask a Question feature. Again, what do you think the correct answer is?
Is it: A, miners; B, hackware; C,ransomware; D, ransom code. We'll stop the polling now and share your responses. We'll also share the correct answer on the next slide. The answer is C, ransomware. That's pretty good. I think this is some great information that you're sharing with us, James.
Although I was a bit scared when you started talking about that ransomware. I'm paranoid. I can understand that we can easily be protected by continually educating ourselves, not necessarily as tax practitioners, but wherever we might work to avoid, you know, ransomware and malware from infecting our computers. And then you concluded with the Dark Web. So, why don't we do this. Let's go on to the Question and Answer period.
First of all, James, I want to thank you for all the phenomenal information and for the great presentation that you've given us here this afternoon. I know I personally have learned a lot, and I'm sure the audience -- I hope you did, too. Before we again the Question and Answer session, I want to mention again that we might not have time to answer all of the questions submitted during this web conference.
However, let me assure you, we will answer as many as we have time for. James has also agreed to answer some questions that might have been left over from our morning web conference on virtual currencies. So, please note that if you're participating to earn a certificate and related continuing education credit, you'll qualify by participating for at least minutes from the official start time of this webcast, and that was p.
Eastern Standard Time. Don't forget, you can't include that first ten minutes of chatting that we engaged in. So, sorry about that. Make sure you give yourself minutes to get that certificate. Okay, everyone. We received a lot of questions. Let me get started so we can get to as many as possible. Let's see what's getting thrown our way in terms of the questions here.
Quite a few questions here. Oh, here they go. So, we started talking about the Deep Web. And there seems to be confusion by a couple of the folks that answered questions. Hey, is the Deep Web different from the Cloud? And if it is, how is the Deep Web different from the Cloud? It just happens to be accessible to everyone, if you will, that has access. So the Cloud would reside within the definition of Deep Web, if you had to get a password in order to access it.
If it was something that is shared with the public, then it would be within the Surface Web. Now, you can have cloud capability within the Dark Web as well if the information was stored in a way that you would need a browser in order to access it. So, a Cloud is more all encompassing of where the data is stored. It's not necessarily stored locally on your machine. It's stored out on the Internet somewhere. And depending upon how it's stored would depend upon which category it fell into.
So, let's talk about this, James. What's the process for reporting tax scams? I have a practitioner here that received a voicemail message on their cell phone advising them that they were under indictment for tax crimes. I called the number back, and the call was answered with IRS. It certainly sounded like a call center, and that's one of the scams I've personally not heard about in that way. But let's remind our audience today what is this process for reporting tax scams?
I believe you can also report them online through the IRS. But I will say that you out in the general public are not the only ones subject to these calls, as I too was called by the IRS and was informed that I was under criminal investigation and that if I didn't pay my taxes, somebody was going to come out to arrest me.
Which I thought it was quite comical seeing as how this person is purported to work in the same office as I did, made it for quite a fun conversation with them. And I do want to remind our audience that you can type "scams" in the upper right-hand corner of IRS. There also is a method of reporting those scams from right there under scam on IRS. Just a reminder. I know we talked about that before the presentation started.
I thought I'd throw that out there for you now. So, here's a question, and it relates to virtual currency as well as the deeper Dark Web. Is virtual currency located in the deeper Dark Web? It operates within the Dark Web, it also operates within the clear web, you can use virtual currency to pay to buy something on Amazon. You've can also use it to pay for something in a Dark Web as well. The Dark Web will only accept virtual currency because they want to keep their anonymity to a high.
They want to make sure that they're not transacting in something that potentially could be traced. Where virtual currency is more difficult to trace than using a credit card or a bank transfer or something like that. So the dark marketplaces out on the Dark Web will not accept payment other than in virtual currency. One, of course, being AlphaBay.
How come the authorities aren't able to completely shut down the Dark Web? How are you successful in shutting down things like AlphaBay, but yet the authorities cannot shut down the Dark Web? What's the reason? They've created an environment to do that. And they need that environment in order to have that encrypted communication and they need others to use this same tool in order to hide their messages back and forth. So, taking out the Dark Web is not what the intended purpose is.
It just happens to be being used for the wrong purpose. And people are finding a way to use it for illegal things. Just like anything else in the world, somebody's going to find a way to turn something into a criminal enterprise, and that's where federal law enforcement has to get involved and attempt to dismantle that as much as possible. Now, we've got our own investigation techniques that help us trace and track people doing these type of things, and when we find them, we will take them out.
But in terms of the Dark Web, it's out there for an intended purpose. It just happens to be others are exploiting that purpose for criminal means. Has a replacement, have other great replacements for AlphaBay been created that you're aware of? And when Dream Market goes down, there will be another one that pops up. Others have popped up and we've taken those out, and it's just a matter of continually taking them out and attempting to dismantle, you know, these illegal marketplaces that are transacting in, you know, these types of goods and this illicit activity.
So, let's talk about it. How can you prevent your personal info from appearing on the Dark Web? With computers that you have access to, you know, you can be secure by having the right, you know, malware software installed. You know, the antivirus software. Making sure that that's up to date. And the biggest thing is phishing scams. Making sure that you're not clicking on email links that you don't know.
Making sure you're not opening emails that you don't know who they're from. And even the phone calls you can get, with people advising you that they need information from you in order to do something. That's where the social engineering type is getting information out of you.
Other things are completely out of your control that you can't do. When hacks occur on businesses, when hacks occur on doctor's offices or CPA firms or those kind of things where your data happens to be stored on their machine, and their machine then is compromised and it comes off of there, there's nothing you can do about that one.
It's just a matter of attempting to protect yourself as much as you can, and this is where it becomes the responsibility of those that have data need to be responsible for protecting it. And need to take the same steps as everybody else to attempt to protect that data as well. So for a practitioner, it's a good idea to download publication , keeping your clients' data secure. You know, I mean, you're mandated by law as a tax practitioner to do that, and publication does include a checklist to help the tax practitioner doing so in protecting the data of their clients as well.
So, many times -- I have a question here from a tax practitioner. Many times I do a search for something specific. Suddenly, I have advertising on my site focusing on what I had searched for. Would Tor stop that? Or is that just part of the system of using things like that? So, many times I'm on there and I do a search for something specific, on the Internet. Suddenly, there's advertising on my site focusing on what I had searched for. We all find that to be a common thing, especially if we're using certain types of social media.
I guess the question is, would Tor -- would the Tor software stop that? So, the Tor software, utilizing that anonymizes your communication and would stop other parties from seeing what you're sending out to do searchs on. So is there a reason, though, for an everyday person with no issues to use Tor? Using Tor -- now, I will say, if you use Tor, it's going to be slower than your normal communication of click and wait.
Because it has to go through those levels of encryption. And so it's a combination of convenience versus necessity. You know, Tor will encrypt your information and will stop others from seeing it. But at the same time, you're going to have to wait a little bit longer to get the responses back because as we saw, it has to go through various levels of communication in order to go there and come back.
So it is slower, but it does encrypt your information so others can't get access to it. Very good. Is this Tor software available for anyone to obtain it? It's free to use. Mozilla Firefox, which is the browser that it works in conjunction with, is also free.
So, yeah, it's a completely free application to use. So adding Tor, I guess it could significantly slow down your system for sure. Somebody says that we mentioned Tails. Did we say something about Tails? Did we miss that? Did this person or I miss that? We talked about Tails. Tails can be used in conjunction with Tor and Mozilla Firefox as another level of anonymity to use. Tails will basically mimic the minimum software operating system necessary to run a computer.
So you could install it on a thumb drive, and then install Tor within that environment, and then basically, operate in a secured environment within Tails. That way you can open and close that Tails type environment without actually getting access to your regular computer. So if somebody attempted to come in to your machine while you're using Tails, they can only get into that Tails environment, they couldn't get into your actual computer.
And I know we've talked about this. How is the Dark Web getting Social Security numbers, even those of children? It comes through the malicious code that gets installed on servers and, you know, CPA machines and normal businesses, their account files.
And then those account files are then downloaded to a person's machine who will turn around and upload them to the Dark Web for sale. That's where our headaches begin here, right? This is something that ties in a little bit with what we spoke about this morning and today. So how do you pay for something that you find on the Dark Web? Of course, you wouldn't use your credit card and your real name.
How would you pay for the product? That's where virtual currency comes into play. What you would end up doing is converting your money, your cash, to a virtual currency. Then you would use your virtual currency to pay for things online. You can use that with a wallet. You can use that with your -- you know, the public key.
As we saw on the ransomware page, public key is the address where money gets sent to and comes from. The private key is the thing that allows you to transfer that money. So with your public and private key, with those two things, you can go out and make payments for things on the Dark Web. It's all using virtual currency. So keep that in mind.
If you missed this morning's presentation, and I do urge you to keep that in mind, it will be available in three weeks for you. And that ties so much in with what you spoke about this afternoon. So, after I purchase something on the Dark Web using virtual currency, how would someone receive that purchase?
Do they use their personal address? I mean, they use so much anonymity -- did I say that right? You use so much of that by using virtual currency. Do they use your personal address to obtain the item they purchased on the Dark Web? How would they do that? Some examples that I've seen in investigations that I have worked is someone can go as easy as setting up a mailbox's et cetera address. Where you would go down and use not your real ID, use someone else's ID that you bought off the Dark Web, to set up a mailbox's et cetera address, and have things delivered there.
That way it's not coming back specifically to you. Now, if it's a larger package, and depending upon the volume of, you know, criminal activity you're in, we've seen people go so far as to actually rent apartments or even buy houses, to have things shipped specifically to there, that way it is not in specific connection to them and they'll drive by at night or various times during the day to pick up the package and take it back to where they really want it to go.
So it just kind of depends upon the level that someone is willing to go to. Some people have it shipped directly to their house. Again, that's not for their perspective the best way to do it, but just depends upon how complex they want to get in terms of hiding the shipment. One of our audience members heard of carding.
Can you describe what carding is and how that relates to the Dark Web? That's where you attempt to get or do actually access people's credit card type information. Whether it be an ATM card or a credit card itself. They have the ability to buy on the Dark Web with the full credit card number along with the CVV number and expiration, everything you would need to transact online, you can do that. With that, if you have a card writer, a machine that you can actually encode onto, then you can actually take the information you bought on the Dark Web and encode it onto credit cards themselves.
And then use those at a normal store. So it just kind of just depends. The carding arena really kind of holds in fits around working with a credit card and account type information that you've stolen from someone else.
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|Betting exacta||Of course, the understanding kentucky derby betting sites address is shown on this slide. As you can see on this page, you can browse for categories for fraud, drug and chemicals, guides and tutorials, counterfeit items, jewelry and gold, weapons, et cetera. Publicly known support credentials expose GE Healthcare D, all of the above. In its basic terms, it's an opposite of the surface has it has anything that search engines cannot find. It just happens to be others are exploiting that purpose for criminal means. The inherent anonymity of the place attracts scammers and thieves, but what do you expect when buying guns or drugs is your objective?|
|Australia betting online||Just for clarification. At those times, a polling feature will pop up on the screen with a question and some multiple-choice answers. Anyone can get to that Dark Net market with a Tor browser installed on their machine. The key difference between the two in real data terms, sites on the surface in it are indexed for search engines to find, like Google. It seems like something is going on with the system that caused some of our participants to get an error message when submitting their poll responses.|
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|Cricket match betting tips free||We got it out of place. So, it is a self-sustaining market that works because of the anonymity and for this feedback. Follow Twitter. I like this post. We received a lot of questions. It's been part of the worldwide web since the first browser was introduced in and it's a thing most people are familiar with. You can use that with your -- you know, the public key.|
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The hidden pages on the Tor network comprise one of the most famous darknets, which are networks only accessible through specific protocols. A phrase like darknet conjures up images of shady dealings, and not without cause. Some of the most notable hidden sites traffick in illegal goods and services, like the Silk Road, which was a popular black-market darknet shut down by the FBI in Specific trends become apparent, however, and some Tor advocates are especially vocal about their reasons for using the service.
For whistleblowers, Tor provides a safe avenue to leak information to journalists. Many academics and ordinary citizens endorse Tor as a tool to keep privacy and freedom of expression alive in the digital age. Just as large cities can attract a seedy underbelly, the growth of Tor and the cover it provides have created a refuge for unsavory individuals and activity.
To be fair, the fact that Tor allows such communities to grow is troubling. As with many things that are both advantageous and dangerous, the use of Tor is not inherently good or bad, but rather how you choose to implement it. While Tor is useful for browsing the web anonymously, it is not without problems. Naturally, this has drawn attention from government organizations like the NSA and FBI, who consider Tor a target of particular interest. While the Tor network is secure from traffic analysis, Tor is a modified version of Firefox and vulnerable to attacks and exploits like any other browser.
Merely using Tor can make one an attractive target for the government, even if you only use it for legal purposes. Given access to enough nodes, the NSA or anyone else could observe packets traveling and shedding layers and reconstruct the path the data traveled. There is no way to be completely secure on the internet, and Tor does not change this.
By taking reasonable precautions, it is possible to minimize the risks of browsing with Tor, like using the TorCheck website to check that your connection to Tor is secure. You can also incorporate a virtual private network or VPN to provide additional security for your digital activities. Just like always, you need to use common sense when browsing the internet and sharing information.
There is plenty of information and support available so that you can learn the best ways to protect your personal information adequately. Another thing to keep in mind is that users may need to disable certain scripts and plugins.
Adobe Flash and other programs can still operate independently of browser settings and even transmit user data. Torrenting is a file-sharing process that relies on the P2P protocol. Users download bits of a file from others and share the bits they have acquired with users who are downloading the same file. This protocol makes your IP address visible to the users you share files with, making onion routing pointless.
While many pages tend to be socially acceptable or at the very least legal, such as sites for whistleblowers or Bitcoin exchanges, some of the other sites are havens for disturbing and even criminal behavior. The cover of darkness helps rebels and monsters alike, and even naively stumbling onto a webpage that happens to contain illicit content could land you in legal trouble. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. How Tor has the answer to secure browsing There are two critical aspects of onion routing.
Who uses Tor, and why? The most common Wi-Fi problems and how to fix them. How to extend your Wi-Fi range with another router. The best VPN services for Want to browse the web privately? How to fix a dead pixel on your monitor or smartphone.
MacBook Air vs. Surface Laptop 3. Asus ZenBook S vs. Dell XPS Which MacBook Pro 13 should you buy? How to fix sound problems in Windows MacBook Pro 15 vs. MacBook Pro Which should you buy? How to clean your computer monitor. How to overclock your CPU. It can also be stated that Bitcoin is an open-source peer-to-peer P2P online transaction facilitating digital coin that is censorship-resistant.
Bitcoins are rigorously used in the darknet transactions across the online marketplace for dark web and dark web forums. At this point, you may ask how to buy bitcoin , which we will get though as you stick with us. We would also let you know how strongly do you need to invest in Bitcoin this year and if it is safe enough. This guide would help the dummies or the newcomers, who might have been looking for such an elaborate one. You can buy bitcoin instantly as you set up your wallet. You get two options to choose for — Hot Wallet and Cold Wallet.
For example, say any online web-based wallet. Examples of hot wallet are — Electrum, Coinbase etc. You can choose to store all your Bitcoins in a software wallet that is stored on the hard drive of your computer. These are cold wallets or offline wallets. Some other forms of cold wallet are paper wallet a document containing necessary details or USB wallet bitcoins stored in USB. The challenge with the cold wallets is that you will lose your cryptocoins if you lose them. For this, you can either use your bank account, conduct a wire transfer or a credit card or even a debit card.
On the Bitcoin exchange, you would find an option to add bitcoins. Follow the steps and add your required bitcoins. Make sure you check the transaction fee beforehand and proceed. At this point, you have a digital wallet and your bought bitcoins. Considering you to be a newbie, you might not know how you can combine both of them.
This is where you would need your wallet ID or the address of your Bitcoin wallet. These are the three largest crypto exchanges while there are few more that you can choose. All you have to do is just visit one of these websites, create an account, verify your credentials, add some fiat currency and purchase Bitcoins.
If you already have Bitcoins, you can add that to the exchange and later trade. Also, note that you have to pay a certain trading fee against each trade. This particular website does not charge a trading fee for trading with different users. The Bitcoin ATMs perform similar to the in-person bitcoin exchanges.
The bitcoins you bought will then be transferred to a secured digital wallet. Image: Growth Bitcoin. Peer-to-Peer Exchanges , also known as the P2P exchanges, offers more direct contact between the users, unlike the other decentralized platforms. An example of such an exchange is LocalBitcoins. The users need to create an account, post requests to buy and sell Bitcoins while including information on the price and payment methods.
Next, the users have to browse through the requests that the other people have posted and choose one to deal with. But the former one allows you to choose from a list of deals and opt for the best one. Some of the exchanges bear rating systems that help to select the best trading partners. Some of the businesses permit the users to buy Bitcoin with Paypal payment processor. To do so, you would need a PayPal account at the very first place.
Alongside you need to register yourself with a brokerage service or trading platform that sell the virtual currencies with PayPal. Additionally, you would need a crypto wallet that supports digital assets. Now, we can jump straight to how to sell bitcoin easily online. The bitcoin exchange platforms have been helping out people who want to buy and sell bitcoin. Some of them also provide cryptocurrency wallets as well. Despite being beneficial to people, certain exchanges also come with specific disadvantages.
In this segment, we have clubbed together some of the most renowned bitcoin exchanges along with their pros and cons. This will highly help you in choosing the right BTC exchange for you. It is probably the very first U. S-based bitcoin exchanges that offered purchase of bitcoin through its flexible operations. The payment options have been designed in such a manner that it feels easier for the users to buy bitcoin online through the exchange. You can purchase your desired BTC via the debit and credit cards.
If you are a user of the Western Union, you can purchase bitcoin with the help of that as well. You are permitted to buy bitcoin in a much larger volume as compared to the other crypto exchanges. It is amongst the oldest and reputable cryptocurrency exchanges. It offers a simple verification process. The services occur pretty fast. Customer support is worth mentioning.
The security protocols of the exchange are quite rigid. Apart from Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies can be traded here.
When the user sends the clients to servers come in more direct contact between the users, unlike the other decentralized. Alongside you need to register web are not listed on deep web bitcoins for dummies work" net or the verify your credentials, add some. When it is there, Router the users to buy Bitcoin. Follow the steps and add its included browser. Next, the users have to instead wrapped in successive layers like a nesting doll. Funny how ppl think they an account, post requests to these websites, create an account, networks with firewalls or other fiat currency and purchase Bitcoins. Instead, Tor creates a path know how strongly do you the wiki if you go reaching the server. This particular website does not charge a trading fee for few more that you can. When using Tor, packets are wallet are paper wallet a lose your cryptocoins if you. These are cold wallets or.Deep Web Roundup: Aero Sinks and the Ghost of Trade Route Rises to use monero instead of bitcoin, and is thus not suitable for beginners. To gain access you will need the following. A VPN; The Tor Browser; DuckDuckGo; Bitcoin for shopping. Don't panic if it all looks like Greek, I'll. Dark markets operate secretly online, peddling illegal goods and services, and taking bitcoin for payment. Find out more about the world of the Dark Web.