Cyber security always had a thing with terminology. Back in the day, its very name was the subject of many articles that tried to explain how “Cyber” is different than traditional infosec. The term “Advanced Persistent Threats” was also under scrutiny when it became popularized, with many experts claiming that certain nation-state attacks were not really APTs, as their attacks had nothing “advanced” about them on a technical standpoint. As I have mentioned in my previous column, “Threat Intelligence” is also a term that encompasses a wide variety of offerings, causing confusion in the market.
Despite being around in its current form for almost 15 years, and a household name with references in television shows and even Disney cartoons, the Dark Web as a term is no different. Speak with security professionals who are involved in monitoring the Dark Web and you will probably end up getting varied responses as to what it is and what it is comprised of. Some claim that the Dark Web is another definition of the anonymizing network TOR, while others claim that the Dark Web is mainly comprised of dissident sites, with illegal activity only being a small part of it. Such claims are contested by others, meaning that there is no consensus of what this term exactly refers to.