Don’t Fall for “Closed Shell System” Scams

More than once on this blog, I’ve mentioned the idiotic “deep web levels” infographic that’s created a lot of hype around the deep web/dark web in general.

This morning, one of my MadIRC friends pointed out a site that was offering access to an alleged “closed shell system,” which, as I’ve pointed out on previous posts, don’t exist.

The site in question is at http://e2rvbarpq7ozexmw.onion, and is entitled “Closed Shell System – ClosNet.” I have a feeling that the same person who made this site is the one who made the alleged “Shadow Web” sites, in part because it uses the same “creepy staircase” background:

closed_shell_system

The site also has a video supposedly illustrating a site from the .clos network (which I assume is doctored). Here’s a screenshot of it (to see the video just visit the onion link):

clos_network_video.png

Supposedly, the network requires something called the “Fonex Browser,” which, to my knowledge, doesn’t exist – although you could simply make a Firefox fork and call it the Fonex Browser if you wanted to! After all, that’s what browsers like GNU IceCat are.

Anyhow, what I’d like to point out is that they say it contains things like “Julian Assange, Wikileaks, Hidden places, Documents…”, etc. Wikileaks, as you may or may not know, is available from the clearnet: WikiLeaks. There’s no special software or permissions necessary!

There are other similar whistleblowing sites on Tor, some of which cannot be accessed by everyone, because they’re private onion sites (for which you need the private key). Even so, setting up one of these isn’t all that difficult, and you don’t need a “special browser,” etc. I’d mentioned this on an earlier post as well, but Matt Traudt (a.k.a. system33) has an excellent blog post explaining how to set up a private onion site: Creating Private Onion Services.

As I’ve also mentioned on other posts, quite a few other networks exist besides Tor, such as I2P, Freenet, ZeroNet, anoNet, and GNUnet, but while some of them may be challenging to set up, none are all that “difficult” to access. The software for these is all open source, and free to download; most get by on donations.

So, what would a “closed shell system” actually be, then? To my knowledge, the closest thing that really exists is a private network, which you can easily set up in your home (such as VPN). Some VPN software does cost money, like Private Internet Access or NordVPN, but even so, it doesn’t “give you access” to anything strange or unusual.

If you’d like more examples or further explanation, feel free to contact me! I enjoy making new friends.

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