Cybercrime on the surface web

There are three levels of internet. The normal web. The deep web. And the dark web.

Normal internet users access the surface web. You type any website in the any browser like Google chrome, you will be accessing the website on the surface web.

Figure 1: surface web page

Websites of all legal companies operate at the surface web. Many of these sites use cache on their sites. This means they will collect some information from you when you visit the sites. The objective is to improve your experience while on their website. Today, websites that collect such data must comply with data privacy regulations like the recent Europe’s 2018 General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR, and Uganda’s Data Privacy and Protection Act 2019.

The deep web is below the surface web but not completely dark. The deep web is not easily accessed by normal browsers. One of the reasons is that such sites have not been indexed by normal search engines. So to access the websites on the dark web, you must know the direct URL of the site.

Dark web is the most sophisticated web which has exclusive access.

To understand the surface, deep and dark web, take an example of a city on land near an island. So the levels of the web are

  • Surface web – the normal web
  • Deep web – the web below the surface but not dark
  • Dark web – the web that is hidden completely and only accessed with permission.

If you have a house that is on land and easily accessible, it is on the surface. So we say, it is a surface house. That is the example of a surface web – the normal web you use. However, the house on the land could have limited access UNLESS with prior approval, then we say deep house or deep web.

Or when you build a house on an island in the middle of water.  To access that house, you cannot use the normal transport system like a vehicle. You can only fly or go there by water. This means it is not easily accessible without official invitation. That is deep web.

However, there are houses that have extremely invite only access. They are not accessed freely. Know one knows what takes place there. And no one you know has been there or if they have been in the house, they are not allowed to say so. We can as well say that house is on a dark place. It is a dark web.

Why different types of webs?

When people steal databases or contact details, they may auction them or sell them on the deep or dark web depending on the sensitivity of the database.

If people want to launder money. They can issue it through the dark web. Only authorized members are allowed access. And they can track who has taken how much and in which market they operate with total confidence that no one will ever know them. At the dark web level, someone can instruct a money launderer to visit a specific physical location and pick the paper money for onward conversion into the legal system. And once they finish, they buy more fake money at a discount to launder and the scheme continues. Such multi-national schemes can only happen on the dark web layer. Human trafficking, and criminal activities like auctioning of stolen goods and expensive art, can take place at the dark web.

To access the deep web, you need a special browser like the TOR browser. This helps protect your identity.

You must be careful accessing dark and deep web. If during an impromptu and surprise audit, your computer is selected for examination and find accesses to such websites and use of TOR browser within the corporate network without official written permission, you could be in deep problems. You may be challenged to explain why you access such sites.


To know more about deep web, visit



Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, Mr. Strategy 2019.  All rights reserved.






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