For the record: I don’t like scammers (who does?), but I have encountered many of them, especially on Tor and other darknets. I suppose that’s all par for the course.
My most recent scam encounter has been with a fellow who calls himself (or herself?) V3RDAD.
He has a profile on ask.fm, which is a question and answer site along the lines of Quora or Yahoo! Answers. On this profile, he links to a Tor hidden service at http://dafynex6ytjnpeo4.onion/ Fine – there’s nothing wrong with that, except that I find all of his answers to be sketchy in nature.
Here’s one example:
In the screenshot above, someone asks “Why does taur node open a listening connection? My antivirus blocked it.”
“Taur Node creates a listener to handle up-to-date information coming from the network itself. The only purpose of it is to display pop-up information about the network, like network status, node availability, login information, etc. Just disable your antivirus software before starting the node. If you are too paranoid about it, you can simply just kill it’s process after you are done / disconnected from the network and re-enable your antivirus again. Killing the process of the node will disable any incoming activity and kill the listener.. you will basically not be able to receive any information about the network anymore.”
OK – does that sound suspicious to anyone? He’s asking some random person to disable their antivirus program after the program blocked this so-called “taur” software. I realize that on occasion, antivirus programs will block software that isn’t malicious, but why should I trust you, V3RDAD?
The Tor hidden service that he links to is entitled “whoami,” and looks like this:
The links with the purple text have various downloads, all of which (as I said before) look very sketchy. The operator of this site claims that you need the downloads to connect to a so-called “taur node” (in other words, nodes on his “private network”).
Again, this sounds like a scam to me. If you really want to try it (which I don’t recommend), use a virtual machine (e.g. Qubes or Tails) so that the file can’t potentially harm your computer.
If you look at some of his other answers, they also sound like bullshit:
Q. What is vbs0rkxc.dafy?
A. The answer to Level 7.
Um…OK, if you say so. If you’ve read any of my earlier posts (or RationalWiki, for that matter), you should know that there are no “deep web levels,” as intriguing as that might sound.
It’s possible that the same person may also have written this blog post, although I’m not sure: Darkfantasy Network. Why do I say this? It has a list of so-called “dafy links” (where have I heard that before?)
In addition, it has a list of “Nept Links,” “Life Links,” “Taur Links,” and “Elen Links,” accompanied by mysterious descriptions. Here are a few examples:
http://girogahary5arofeideidegivoly.nept/ – Dark Babylon City (hidden marketplace)
http://ekkhgiskagfrawahulatriaottyx.nept/ – How the Universe was Created
You get the idea. And to try to lend credence to his links, he throws in a few real ones, including ChaosVPN and Freenet. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen something like this. Remember The Shadow Web? (*cough cough*)
Anyhow, I don’t suggest downloading anything from these sites, as it may potentially harm your computer. And of course, don’t give this person any money. Want some real darknet links, though? Here:
http://zfq7tgxed245jpdz.onion/ – The Darknet Project 0ffSecurity
bdtq4shqkbb3yy7b.onion – DARKWEB LEGION (yes, that’s how they wrote it)
I also recently found a site that maps the Hyperboria Network, which uses the cjdns protocol: fc00 – these I really haven’t checked out yet, so maybe you can fill me in!
I guarantee that these are all real links (although I can’t guarantee that the information on them is accurate). Check those out, and let me know if you find anything of interest. If you don’t, keep searching!