The “Dark Web” garners massive attention as its popularity increases. Cybersecurity practitioners and law enforcement across the globe have actively contended against the use of the Dark Web, yet it keeps growing in usage, popularity, and reach. Since it’s a home for generally illegal content, many individuals visit it seeking legally inaccessible content. However, considering that some valuable content is prohibited and untouchable on Google, many people will likely flood the Dark Web shortly. By 2028, the global dark web market is expected to reach $1.3 billion at a CAGR of 22.3%, according to Dark Web statistics.
Content available on the Dark Web is unauthorized. Therefore, accessing such data can have several consequences. Again, apart from its numerous unsavory content provisions, navigating the Dark Web endangers your digital security. Your devices, personal data, stored information in cloud services, and many others could be at risk. We’ve compiled the most crucial statistics on the Dark Web to help you understand why you must avoid this field as much as possible. These statistics highlight its impact on internet users, the consequences attached, and more.
Interesting Facts About the Dark Web
- The United States government is in charge of the Dark Web and Darknet.
- 60% of the entire information on the Dark Web could disrupt the operation of big firms.
- Human error is the cause of almost 90% of every cyberattack recorded.
- Within 39 seconds, a dark web user is compelled to try a cyberattack.
- The deep and dark web own 96% of the internet, while the remaining 4% comprise the surface web.
- Drugs dominate the marketplace on the dark web.
- As of January 2023, according to data from Statista, 70% of adults globally don’t know how the Dark Web functions.
Must-know Dark Web Statistics
1. The United States Created the Darknet.
The creator of the dark web is shocking to reveal. It, still, is worth knowing. The dark web was developed during the 1990s by the US government. Their goal was to enable their spies to roam the internet without revealing their identities. At the time, the American Military researchers developed a dark web network, Tor (The Onion Router). This helped the darknet visitors to remain anonymous. The platform became accessible to everyone starting from the day it was created. As more users joined, it became harder to spot the government spies, thus helping them remain unnoticeable while doing their jobs effortlessly and more effectively.
2. The Deep Web Owns 90% of the Internet, 6% Belongs to the Dark Web, and 4% to the Surface Web.
The deep web is a completely different entity from the dark web. It’s more like a basic continuation of the normal surface web. However, it’s relatively easier to reach. The deep web comprises server data under password-secured information (like mailboxes). Additionally, it includes database details of hospitals, schools, and many other institutions. On the other hand, the dark web, as the name implies, fosters shady activities across the internet with punishable and costly consequences.
3. Up to 30,000 Websites Are Supposedly Being Hosted on Tor.
According to The Sun, in a statistic from the March 2021 article, The Onion Router, Tor, hosts roughly thirty thousand websites owned by the dark web. Considering the massive growth surrounding the dark web, the number of shady web websites hosted on Tor may have grown even bigger than imaginable.
4. No One Can Precisely Tell How Big the Dark Web Is.
Unsurprisingly, no one can make precise assertions concerning the size of the dark web. It could be because everything about there is anonymous. Nevertheless, it’s way bigger compared to the surface web.
5. The Dark Net isn’t An Illegal Place.
Without a doubt, the reputation of Darknet is terrible. However, some activities performed there are not illegal. Some illegal actions like dealing weapons and drugs or accessing pornographic sites have detrimental consequences. However, if you engage in ethical hacking or whistleblowing, you will likely go free, as these acts are not legally punishable. Nevertheless, to be safe, staying away from the dark web and its activities is advisable despite the unsavory content you could easily get.
Interesting Dark Web Statistics from 2022
The dark web has spanned several years, and many records have been kept. Here are some interesting statistics about the dark web from 2022 that you may want to explore:
6. Over the Last 3 Years, Dark Web Activities Across the Internet Have Shot Up By 300%.
The statistics of the dark web highlight how activities in this part of the internet are increasing over time. This deepest internet section spiked by 300% within three years. This ranges from 2017 to 2020 and could be higher now.
7. Over 30% of Americans Used the Dark Net In 2019.
In 2019, Americans were the biggest Dark web users, where 26% used it daily, and 7% used it weekly. Latin America was next, with 21% of individuals going there every day and 13% doing so at least once a week. That means Latin America had more users overall than North America, but North America still had more people who used it daily. Darknet statistics also found that 50% of the people surveyed didn’t use The Onion Router (Tor) as they needed to learn how it works. 45% stayed away because they had no reason to use it.
8. In 2021, Ransomware Attacks Were Recorded Every 11 Seconds.
In 2021, ransomware attacks were a significant cybersecurity threat, happening approximately every 11 seconds. These attacks involved malicious software that encrypted data, demanding a ransom for its release, highlighting the urgency of cybersecurity measures.
9. The Damages of Ransomware Attacks Cost Up to $20 Billion By 2021.
Hackers on and off the dark web are causing serious damage with ransomware attacks, leading some companies to shut down rapidly. The projected global ransomware damage for 2031 is estimated at $265 billion, raising concerns about the potential collapse of even prominent companies. The situation is uncertain and warrants close attention.
Critical Crime Statistics of Dark Web
Regrettably, the Darknet’s architecture provides a sanctuary for criminal activities. With the high rate of nefarious activities happening online, no one can claim to be safe, whether on the surface or within the dark web. Here are some critical facts to be aware of on this issue.
10. There Were Incidents of Cyberattack Every Thirty-Nine Seconds.
On an average day, about 2,244 computers get attacked, according to dark web stats. This isn’t only because of the dark web. It’s also because many people use very common and easily guessable usernames and passwords. This makes it easier for attackers to break into their computers.
11. Human Behavior or Error Causes 90% of the Cyberattacks Recorded.
The deep web is only sometimes the main issue; often, it’s the people, especially employees, accessing it. Companies are a frequent target of cyberattacks, not just because of their security problems. Apart from the issue of weak usernames and passwords, how people behave can also be a problem. Some may not have good intentions when they join a company, while others can be easily tricked. In any case, all these facts about the dark web reveal that people need better education about cybersecurity.
12. Retail, Technology, or Government Entities Owned 95% of the Breached Records During 2016.
In 2016, cybersecurity had a tough time. These three major industries were heavily targeted, likely because personal information was easy to get. Healthcare also faced attacks, but data from the dark web shows it didn’t suffer as much.
13. Up to 60% of Information on the Dark Web Could Affect Big Firms in the Long Run.
Is the dark web truly as risky as it seems? Let’s shed some light on the matter. Like game developers often face challenges, enterprises might also be in jeopardy. In 2019, a substantial 60% of dark web listings, excluding drug-related ones, had the potential to cause harm to companies. This figure was significantly lower, at only 40%, in 2016. Consider the significant change that occurred in just three years.
14. Seventy Percent of Small Business Workers Lost Access to Their Passwords Accidentally or to Cyberattacks.
Dark web information emphasizes the importance of being ready for cyberattacks. It’s a key difference between big companies and small businesses that attackers notice. Larger companies usually have cybersecurity training, making smaller businesses more attractive targets. That’s why they must be better prepared. In the US, human mistakes are the most significant factor in cybersecurity breaches.
15. Gaming and Dark Web Crime are Closely Associated.
This statement suggests a close connection between criminal activities conducted on the dark web and the world of online gaming. It implies a significant overlap or association between criminal behavior and the gaming community within the dark web, possibly involving illegal gaming-related activities, such as hacking, fraud, or selling illicit gaming-related items.
16. A Woman From Virginia Got Apprehended for Hiring a Dark Web Hitman.
The incidents happening on the dark web depend on users’ actions. As such, engaging in illegal activities is strongly discouraged. An example is Annie Nicole Ritenour, who got arrested for her criminal actions. In late October 2021, the FBI discovered she used Bitcoin to hire a hitman through the dark web. Thankfully, they intervened to protect the potential victim and apprehend her.
Enticing Market Statistics of Dark Web
Moving further, we’re exploring the statistics of the dark web market. There are several dark web markets, and most primarily involve illegal dealings.
17. The Number of Dark Web Markets in Existence is Unknown.
Despite all the dark web statistics available, the exact number of marketplaces still needs to be solved. Due to frequent shutdowns and revelations, it takes time to keep track. New marketplaces keep emerging, and many exclusively use cryptocurrencies for transactions.
18. Chemicals and Drugs Are the Dominating Products Sold on the Market.
When it comes to the items on the dark web, you can find a wide variety of things, mostly illegal. People seek chemicals and illicit drugs most often. Other sought-after items include hackers, pharmaceuticals, fraudulent activities, firearms, and counterfeit goods.
19. There Are No Fixed Prices For Items on the Dark Web; the Prices Change Consistently.
Once more, focusing on illegal stuff on the dark web, the prices fluctuate depending on demand because they’re usually always available. People were frequently looking for things like fake IDs and credit card details.
20. The Growth of Bitcoin Could be Attributed to the Dark Web Market.
It’s not surprising that the deep web and bitcoin are closely linked. It makes sense because both offer anonymity – people are anonymous on the dark web, and Bitcoin transactions are anonymous. As the Darknet gained popularity, so did bitcoin. The dark net played a role in driving up the value of the cryptocurrency.
21. The FBI Shut Down Silk Road and Its Creator was Apprehended.
Law enforcement does apprehend individuals running various dark web websites. Consider the case of Ross Ulbricht, who operated the Silk Road. He was once the mastermind behind one of the largest dark web markets but is now serving a life sentence. The US government has shown its commitment to tackling the dark web, and the FBI is quite serious about it.
Additional Interesting Facts to Know About Dark Web
22. Less than five percent of the Dark Web is involved in illegal activities.
23. There are approximately 30,000 hidden websites on the Dark Web.
24. About 15% of the top-level domains are active on the Dark Web.
25. The Dark Web contributes over 50% of global cybercrime revenue.
26. Bitcoin is utilized in 98% of transactions on the Dark Web.
27. Between 500,000 and 600,000 fentanyl pills are sold on the Dark Web.
28. In 2019, the Dark Web saw $2.8 million value of stolen data and hacking services traded.
29. Every year, up to 1.5 million credit cards are embezzled and put up for sale on the Dark Web.
30. Over 10,000 Dark Web websites were hacked and taken down in 2021.
These statistics open our eyes to a whole new world outside the conventional digital networks we know. It prompts the need for caution while online. The dark web has existed for many decades, and there’s no sign that it will disappear. However, individuals must take proactive steps, such as protecting their passwords to ensure safety from cyberattacks and other digital threats, no matter how secure they feel.
What is the dark web, and why is it dangerous?
How do I stay safe from dark web threats?
What’s the relationship between the dark web and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin?
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