Deep Web : Virtual to reality (Ross Ulbricht)

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Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the Silk Road online site selling drugs was sentenced this Friday, May 29 to life imprisonment by a court in New York. He was known on Silk Road under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts” or “DPR” .According to FBI information, Ulbricht had moved to San Francisco. Graduated with a Masters degree in Materials Science at the University of Pennsylvania, the young man controlled the servers and infrastructure of the site, he managed a reduced  “customer service” , and ran a small team of administrators.

Silk Road …

“Great quality for heroin smashes”. This is the type of ad you could find on Silk Road. Specifically, Silk Road also called “drug’s ebay” was based on a great principle of anonymity. The site, hidden in the deep web was limited to users in the digital decentralized network that guarantees complete anonymity. Launched in 2011, Silk Road thus allowing its users to sell or buy any product, including drugs. Credit cards and Paypal accounts were obviously prohibited, to ensure user identities’s safety. To pay for purchases, users actually using the virtual currency “bitcoin” which guarantees confidentiality: transactions were anonymous , and the seller did not know the buyer. The only information revealed was the delivery address.

According to the FBI, between February 2011 and July 2013, the  website helped nearly 1.2 million transactions for a total of almost 9.5 million bitcoins,that is  according to calculations by the US authorities close to  1.2 billion. Silk Road levied a commission on each payment, assessed over the same period to 600,000 bitcoins, or 80 million. A sum that allowed to finance the operation of the website and the small team that managed it.

FBI Investigations  …

In July 2013, the FBI was able to identify a server located abroad, which hosted Silk Road. Through cooperation with local authorities, US investigators were able to get a clear picture of the server, and access private messages exchanged on the site. Then able to identify the creators of Silk Road, the FBI and other US security agencies have sought the first traces of online promotion of the site, including forums. It is through this,  that investigators found two messages of a certain “altoid” which allowed them then by cross-checking, finding traces of a blog on WordPress, linked to a Gmail address. This was one of William Ross Ulbricht, the website’s founder.

Bad Configuration – TOR‘s Mechanism…

To identify and locate Silk Road, FBI simply exploited a flaw in the configuration of the home page of Silk Road’s site. By connecting as a simple client, then analyzing traffic between FBI and  Silk Road’s  computers , Tarbell officer (FBI agent) noticed that one IP address sent by the server to validate the connection did not match any identified TOR relay. He then checked the location of the server with the IP address “ordinary” – a very simple operation – and discovered that it led to a commercial hoster installed in Iceland.

To prove the truth of his explanation, almost too simple, the Tarbell agent does not hesitate to refer to the user guide published by the designers of TOR. It explains that to “TOR-ify” an application (eg a retail site), follow a very strict procedure, otherwise the real IP address of the server would be visible, and the passage of data by the digital relays not conceal anything.

Subsequently, after entering the Ross Ulbricht’s private messages , the FBI discovered that he was aware of this flaw in his system. But apparently he had read the manual carefully as less Tarbell agent and had failed to correct it properly …

Once identified IP address, the US sent a request for legal assistance to the Icelandic authorities. Investigators of the Reykjavik police first noted that the target server was managing large volumes of traffic encrypted by TOR. Then she recovered the history of its connections and its entire contents, and transmitted at the FBI. The result was unequivocal: the IP address collected by the FBI was that of a server used by Silk Road to link buyers and drug dealers.

The use of TOR and Bitcoins guaranteed to silk road, a double sophisticated security system in deep web , however he has been unmasked because of a security flaws !

Deep Web the movie …

“Deep web” is the title of 90′ film documentary devoted to Ross Ulbricht and Silk Road. It’s broadcast on US TV Epix this May 31.

Synopsis

Deep Web gives the inside story of one of the the most important and riveting digital crime sagas of the century — the arrest of Ross William Ulbricht, the convicted 30-year-old entrepreneur accused to be ‘Dread Pirate Roberts,’ creator and operator of online black market Silk Road. The film explores how the brightest minds and thought leaders behind the Deep Web are now caught in the crosshairs of the battle for control of a future inextricably linked to technology, with our digital rights hanging in the balance.

 Deep Web features the core architects of the Deep Web; anarchistic cryptographers who developed the Deep Web’s tools for the military in the early 1990s; the dissident journalists and whistleblowers who immediately sought refuge in this seemingly secure environment; and the figures behind the rise of Silk Road, which combined the security of the Deep Web with the anonymity of cryptocurrency.

Deep Web

What is tdeep-web-linkshe Deep web ?

The deep web or hidden web is the part of the Web accessible online, but not indexed by traditional search engines like Google, Yahoo or bing.. and not accessible using standard browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox…The Deep web can be reached with TOR.

TOR ( The Onion On Router) is free software and an open network that helps you defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.

with such protection we quickly understand why this obscure part of the internet also called darknet is full of the drug traffic related sites, pedophilia, stolen credit card … and many other illegal things.

The Deep Web can be divided into levels:

First Level: Surface Web

Is the Internet, the usual web, what we surf in our day to day life. The websites that can be accessed directly or are listed by a search engine like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. and don’t require any proxy service to connect.

Second  Level: Bergie Web 

Is the Internet that is not indexed by search-engines, directly accessible and no proxy required. In this level, you can find “underground” sites but still indexed as 4chan, Freehive, 1eden, Black Hat World … or FTP servers and also the  blocked Google search results … This level is the last freely accessible level, all levels that follow  can be accessed with a proxy / VPN, Tor or by  modifying your hardware.

Third Level: Deep Web 

The third level onwards Deep Web starts, no search-engines are able to index these sites and they need some sort of proxy network like Tor, I2P, freenet or JonDo to become accessible. Although this is the Deep Web, most content on level 3 is publicly accessible (with proxy) without any sort of restrictions.

Fourth Level: Charter Web 

This level is also divided into two parts,

The first can be accessed through the Tor network, it contains such things as drugs and human trafficking, banned films and books, black markets … Includes the Hidden Wiki (usually the first website you will access when trying to get into the deep web), which is like the deep web website that contains the link for MANY other charter web websites.

Websites become more restrictive and begin using stronger security measures like registration & login, invite only memberships, open only for a specific time and/or dates, restricted to certain IP addresses, or a combination of the above, etc. Unlike most websites, they are not interested in maximizing traffic hits and keep a very low profile even in the Deep Web

The second part is accessed by a hardware modification: a “CSS” “Shell closed system” and contains over 80% of the web, not in volume but in concentration of information, this part of the web charter contains unconditional PC, information on the experimental material (“Gadolinium Gallium Garnet Electronic Quantum Processors” …), and also dark information, such as the “Law 13”, the experiences of World War II, and even the location of Atlantis .

These comprise of a single computer or a network of systems that are not connected to any external network at all. They can only be accessed from within the network. It is not possible to connect to these systems unless the attacker can physically access these systems. Many companies have sensitive internal networks that are behind a firewall (green zone), that is a different scenario and is still considered insecure in this context. The CSS networks have no physical (wired or wireless) connections to any other network. What these types of networks contain is left to the reader’s imagination.

Fifth Level: Marianas’ Web

About this level , I read many thing about it : (From level 5 to 8 )

For some :We dont have to go there! is a Mystery, it is only imaginative and are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to verify. For others : It’s just quantum computing, accessible by governments and that is why we can not enter this part of the web. For you : leave a comment to share !

More detail with this graph…

Weblevels