What is the deep web?

When talking about search engine results, the definition of “quality” can be subjective: when you get results you want, that’s high quality; but when you don’t, quality doesn’t exist. But we all know that there are more ways than one to get results from search engines, you just need to know where to look.

Search engines are three separate tools in one. The spider is a program that “crawls” through the Web, moving from link to link, looking for new web pages. Once it finds new sites or files, they are added to the search engine’s index. This index is a searchable database of all the information that the spider has found on the Web. Some engines index every word in each document, while others select certain words. The search engine itself is a piece of software that allows users to search the engine’s database. Clearly, an engine’s search is only as good as the index it’s searching.

The deep web, or the hidden web, are known as aggregations of data and information that is not easily searched by using the “surface” web, or the web found on major search engines like Yahoo, Google and others. The deep Web has been found to contain higher quality information, however, than you can find using surface web tools. One of the ways research groups and search engine specialists look at results from the deep web to determine whether “quality” results come from a search is by basing the results on a type of language review. For example, they are looking for words of a higher reading level as well as results that may be more technical, as well as relevant to the subject matter.

In doing these tests, it is clear that the results of data searches on the deep web are of higher quality than the results from the “surface web” search engines. The information that is contained in deep web documents and has more relevant information, and does not have the same degree of fluff. Surface websites are more often used for purposes other than information: advertising, selling things, marketing, attracting traffic or advertisers, and so on.25

This measurement of quality of deep web vs. surface web also holds true across all sectors of research. Fields such as finance, science, law, medicine, and agriculture all have more authoritative and higher quality information within the hidden web, more than the surface web.

Another interesting finding is that deep Web sites provide as much as 10% more results than the surface web searches, and three times as many high-quality documents! Consider this if you are doing a market research project or academic research – you certainly don’t want to rely on just Yahoo and Google!

You can find hundreds of deep Web search engine sites for every subject area. Even if overall the quality was not great, you’d still have more than you would by using surface search methods. The duplication you also find these days over the surface web is not as much of a problem on the deep web. Deep Web sites have a unique data without question. If you’re looking for the proverbial “needle in a haystack,” it’s imperative that you include deep Web search tools.

 

 

 

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What is the dark web?

Criminals use innovative and state-of-the-art tools to steal information from large and small organizations and then either use it themselves or, most common, sell it to other criminals through the Dark Web.

Small and mid-sized businesses have become the target of cybercrime and data breaches because they don’t have the interest, time or money to set up defenses to protect against an attack. Many have thousands of accounts that hold Personal Identifying Information, PII, or intelligent property that may include patents, research and unpublished electronic assets. Other small businesses work directly with larger organizations and can serve as a portal of entry much like the HVAC company was in the Target data breach.

Some of the brightest minds have developed creative ways to prevent valuable and private information from being stolen. These information security programs are, for the most part, defensive in nature. They basically put up a wall of protection to keep malware out and the information inside safe and secure.

Sophisticated hackers discover and use the organization’s weakest links to set up an attack

Unfortunately, even the best defensive programs have holes in their protection. Here are the challenges every organization faces according to a Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report in 2013:

76 percent of network intrusions explore weak or stolen credentials 73 percent of online banking users reuse their passwords for non-financial websites 80 percent of breaches that involved hackers used stolen credentials

Symantec in 2014 estimated that 45 percent of all attacks is detected by traditional anti-virus meaning that 55 percent of attacks go undetected. The result is anti-virus software and defensive protection programs can’t keep up. The bad guys could already be inside the organization’s walls.

Small and mid-sized businesses can suffer greatly from a data breach. Sixty percent go out of business within a year of a data breach according to the National Cyber Security Alliance 2013.

What can an organization do to protect itself from a data breach?

For many years I have advocated the implementation of “Best Practices” to protect personal identifying information within the business. There are basic practices every business should implement to meet the requirements of federal, state and industry rules and regulations. I’m sad to say very few small and mid-sized businesses meet these standards.

The second step is something new that most businesses and their techs haven’t heard of or implemented into their protection programs. It involves monitoring the Dark Web.

The Dark Web holds the secret to slowing down cybercrime

Cybercriminals openly trade stolen information on the Dark Web. It holds a wealth of information that could negatively impact a businesses’ current and prospective clients. This is where criminals go to buy-sell-trade stolen data. It is easy for fraudsters to access stolen information they need to infiltrate business and conduct nefarious affairs. A single data breach could put an organization out of business.

Fortunately, there are organizations that constantly monitor the Dark Web for stolen information 24-7, 365 days a year. Criminals openly share this information through chat rooms, blogs, websites, bulletin boards, Peer-to-Peer networks and other black market sites. They identify data as it accesses criminal command-and-control servers from multiple geographies that national IP addresses cannot access. The amount of compromised information gathered is incredible. For example:

Millions of compromised credentials and BIN card numbers are harvested every month Approximately one million compromised IP addresses are harvested every day

This information can linger on the Dark Web for weeks, months or, sometimes, years before it is used. An organization that monitors for stolen information can see almost immediately when their stolen information shows up. The next step is to take proactive action to clean up the stolen information and prevent, what could become, a data breach or business identity theft. The information, essentially, becomes useless for the cybercriminal.

What would happen to cybercrime when most small and mid-sized businesses take this Dark Web monitoring seriously?

The effect on the criminal side of the Dark Web could be crippling when the majority of businesses implement this program and take advantage of the information. The goal is to render stolen information useless as quickly as possible.

There won’t be much impact on cybercrime until the majority of small and mid-sized businesses implement this kind of offensive action. Cybercriminals are counting on very few businesses take proactive action, but if by some miracle businesses wake up and take action we could see a major impact on cybercrime.

Cleaning up stolen credentials and IP addresses isn’t complicated or difficult once you know that the information has been stolen. It’s the businesses that don’t know their information has been compromised that will take the biggest hit.

Is this the best way to slow down cybercrime? What do you this is the best way to protect against a data breach or business identity theft – Option one: Wait for it to happen and react, or Option two: Take offensive, proactive steps to find compromised information on the Dark Web and clean it up?

 

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Virus, Trojan and Malware

The first quarter report of Panda Security reveals some shocking facts that indicate a shift in the statistics related to online threats. Viruses so far had been considered as the leading threat to computers and laptops. In the figures below, it has come down to a great extent, but Trojans are seen rising substantially.

Based on the new findings, an ideal antivirus program dedicated to protection against viruses will not be able to protect the system from about 95 percent of online infections.

Trojans/Malware are increasing at a rapid pace

Panda Security has taken the samples of infections recorded in the first three months of 2012 and analyzed the data obtained on this basis. Over six million unique malware samples were notified by the laboratory. Surprisingly, this number is quite high and outrageous if compared to the malware infections noticed in the last few years. Over 80% of these malware infections were caused by Trojans that is nothing short of an alarm or wake-up call for all computer users and security analysts. This has set a new record as these high numbers are capable of crippling millions of computers worldwide.

Major gateways for Trojans and malware

The open source Android mobile operating system has been proved nothing less than a heaven for the cyber criminals. They have utilized this platform to put in viruses and malware to the mobile devices. After realizing this imminent threat, Google has removed several malicious apps from its Android Market now known as ‘Google Play.’ Ignorant users unknowingly download an infection gaming app in the guise of ‘Angry Birds’ or ‘Cut The Rope’ to their devices and thus the provide a visa to Trojans and malware into their phones or tablets.

Social networking websites especially Facebook is continuing to grow regarding users.
Around 45,000 Facebook credentials were stolen by Cyber-crooks recently that was feared to be misused for injecting Trojans and malware. Experts feared that probably criminals might use these infected accounts to send links to people’s Facebook friends to replicate the computer work further.

What is new in the report?

In this report, several new things have been highlighted by Panda Security. There has been an increase in the incidents of ‘ransomware attacks’ that may be credited to the so-called ‘Police virus’ that was noticed in the first quarter. Reportedly, this virus displayed messages with the logos of international law enforcement agencies to dupe users into believing that their computers have been locked because either they have visited inappropriate websites or downloaded illegal material.

Users were charged a certain amount by the virus authors to unlock their computer that was approximately 100 British pounds, dollars or euros. These messages were generated by Trojans to fleece innocent users.

This is the perfect application for businesses. As businesses have a lot of confidential files and sensitive information, it is essential that these records and data are well protected. For a start up to small businesses, the best version to get would be the premium version. You can start off with the free version. But should you wish to avail of some security features, it is best to get the premium version. They only charge a minimal fee for this. However, if you are purchasing an anti-virus for a corporation or a medium scale to a big scale business, then it is best to get the Hyper version to be able to enjoy the full benefits.

The facts and figures discussed above have brought the antivirus software back on the table of discussion and planning as viruses are backtracked by Trojans and malware. (Source: Panda Security Quarterly Report)

 

 

 

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Is there a danger in using public wifi?

It is common sense not to do your online banking over a public WiFi, but have you ever stopped and asked yourself: shouldn’t online banking be secure – it is encrypted, after all? The sad and somewhat scary truth is that it doesn’t matter! Your favorite online retailer may boast with “secure online shopping experience,” but that doesn’t mean that you should go online shopping for your new shoes while drinking cappuccino in a cafe.

There are three main reasons why public and unsecured WiFi hotspots can be dangerous. Since the network is open, there is always the possibility of “snooping”; only one compromised machine could compromise the whole network, and even the hotspot itself could be malicious.

Never send any sensitive personal or business information over a public or unsecured WiFi hotspot ever! If to access a website, you need to log in, wait until you can do so over a secure connection. Don’t let malicious hackers trick you into connecting to a fake hotspot that, at a glance, resembles those offered at cafes or other public places, but is set up for their nefarious purposes. Always verify the name of the WiFi network you are about to connect to!

So-called “man in the middle” attacks, which are using public WiFi networks, are becoming the favorite method of malicious hackers’ attacks. The misuse of public or unsecured WiFi networks, to steal information such as credit card numbers and passwords, is on the rise as well.

Sometimes, using public WiFi networks such as those available in your hotel room, or at the airport, is simply unavoidable. Consider registering for a virtual private network(VPN) service! VPN service works by routing all your communication which it encrypts through a physical server owned by the VPN provider before it reaches the web. The VPN, therefore, acts as a middleman, or a physical barrier, between you and the rest of the internet!

Without an additional layer of security that VPN provides, anyone with access to the network can intercept the traffic from a device you use to connect to the internet. When you are using a VPN, no one can see the websites you visit, and data that you submit. Since your information is virtually untraceable, you are invisible to the prying eyes!

However, internet technology has advanced to combat those who would try to get at your personal information, and you can use it to your advantage. Most all internet addresses begin with the familiar ‘http://,’ but occasionally you may see ones, particularly for financial institutions, that start with ‘https://’ and the address may be colored differently, depending on your web browser. That extra little ‘s’ makes all the difference.

Without going into details, the ‘s’ stands for SSL, which is a type of internet encryption. It means that anything you send to, or is sent by, the website using this technology is protected by a complicated series of passwords and ciphers that are far beyond most computers’ capabilities to crack. If you see a site utilizing ‘https://’ in their address, especially their login pages, you can be surer that your information is secure. Most banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions already utilize this technology, but many other popular websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, don’t have this encryption enabled by default.

 

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Online Privacy

With the disturbing rate of web misrepresentation, it is important to utilize online protection measures to shield you from being cheated. Seeing as every one of the information gathered about you on the web has some centrality to somebody, it is advisable to be careful at all circumstances while surfing the web. A few sites produce their income by offering your own data while programmers exploit your own information to perform fake exercises like wholesale fraud. Online privacy protection is accordingly a gathering of measures intended to diminish the clamor of a dominant part of the blameless people who have fallen prey to web tricks.

Online privacy protection measures can be seen from alternate points of view extending from mechanical measures, privacy approaches directions and individual control of the individual data uncovered on the web. With a blend of all these privacy protection measures, web clients are rest guaranteed that their information is shielded from pernicious clients to a more prominent degree.

With regards to web privacy protection, singular control of the characterized data you post on the web offers the best rate of security. Rehearsing additional alert while surfing the web in this manner, goes far in protecting your information from noxious clients. Guarantee that reconsider before posting any individual data on the web. In the event that the data you are going to post will uncover your own subtle elements like your telephone number, personal residence or even budgetary data, it is advisable to abstain from posting the data particularly in the event that you don’t know of the believability of the sites. Likewise abstain from tapping on connections sent to you by means of obscure sources since a large portion of these connections contain spyware that furtively gather delicate information and transmit the information to vindictive clients.

There are approaches and directions that represent the utilization of private data you submit to associations that require your own subtle elements to work. Businesses for instance have a privilege to experience their staff part’s messages and perusing history the length they utilize the organization assets to surf the web. In any case, there are confinements to the degree in which the business is permitted to get to staff private data. Sites that requires your own data like online shopping locales, budgetary organizations among others likewise need to have a plainly clarified privacy arrangement that guarantees classification of the data gathered. Ought to the association disclose your own data, the law will discover then obligated for any discrepancies brought on.

Privacy data on your visitors is usually collected in the form of cookies and can be used to present choices and advertising for customers based on previous activity on your site. If you assure your customers of this fact, it can go a long way in making them feel more secure about doing business with you.

 

To the extent innovation is worried, there are different mechanical creations intended to optimize protection of privacy online. There is a myriad of online protection programming that are all around furnished with security bundles like firewalls, hostile to spyware, information encryption usefulness and anonymzing settings that obstruct the endeavors of malicious clients to pry on your privacy and increase unapproved access to delicate information.

 

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What is the deep web?

We’ve all heard about it but do you really know what it is? I know that I thought that it was all assassins, drugs and other nefarious things.  Turns out, it’s more than that.  Take a look:

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