The dark web providing anonymity to its users is the prime cause people are intrigued towards it and are widely accessing the dark web. Not only this, the cybercriminals have found out yet another shade that they can easily exploit for their malicious intent. The dark web has become the hub for the cybercriminals to communicate all activities via hacker forums, starting from planning the cyberattacks to the trade of illegal goods and services.
The distrust towards the governmental bodies and as well as the large corporations revolving around the data privacy of the dark web communities are highly engrossing people. Most of them are becoming quite familiar with the darknet owing to both legit and illicit reasons, which probably should increase the concern of the security professionals.
On the counter side, a good number of security professionals walk away from the dark web as it is a zone of mystery and myth. For a fact, certain parts of the dark web and deep web must solely be accessed with rigid skill and caution. All the members of the security community must understand the basics of the dark network.
What Is A Dark Web Forum?
A dark web forum is a platform that enable the users to freely discuss diverse topics related to illegal goods and services consisting of child pornography, drug trafficking, data leaks, hacking, racist and extremist content and much more. The forums offer the users different types of memberships like Moderator, Premium and VIP.
On the other hand, the marketplaces are quite different from the dark web forums as the former serves as a platform for the vendors to sell illicit goods and services. The vendors on the dark web marketplaces sell several illegal goods and services such as drugs, databases, credit cards, accounts, weapons and much more. The users of the dark web markets belong to either the vendor category or the buyer category. As money is transferred via the platform, the marketplaces possess a risk of exit scam. This type of scam takes place when the admins flee with the money gathered from the buyers. But, the forums do not offer goods and services via its platform and thus tend to be more stable.
How Do The Dark Web Forums Work?
The dark web forums are not only restricted to resolving the doubts that the buyers, sellers and other users may have on a particular topic. Some of the dark web forums do also sell hacked materials. Some of the hacking forums include points that you may use to unlock a certain database where the author allots certain points for it to be accessible by the one who agrees to lose some points. The author then uses the acquired points to unlock some other databases.
Usually, in most dark web forums, without a login the viewers can view all the threads and comments but cannot participate. Thus, one needs to be logged in or signed in to an account. This being said, each forum works differently while you may find one or two deep web forums work similarly.
What Difficulties Will I face While Accessing The Dark Web Forums?
There are a couple of challenges that the security researchers have to face while accessing the dark web. The very first is discovering the darkweb forums or hacker communities that is stuffed with illegal activities. Now, you can locate the dark web cybercriminal forums by using several directory lists. These lists ease out the process of finding top hacker forum sites. Also, in some cases, they are not that efficient in tracking those forums where important things keep happening. Instead, it finds out some of the forums that are mostly accessed by the amateurs and comprise of more innocent activity. Adding more to this, the lists often get outdated very quickly owing to the fact that the domains in the dark web change frequently.
Thus, to locate much more relevant darknet forums for security research, the professionals have to implement more realistic strategies such as snowball sampling.
What Is Snowball Sampling Technique?
Snowball sampling is a technique or a method that is used for locating the hidden services on the dark web. It is done for the security research that includes the data collection and the CTI streams. The snowball sampling web crawler architecture takes a root URL and crawls all the websites for its outgoing links to the other websites. This process is then further taken through for each of the gathered links against a set depth. The result will be this that it will return an extensive list of the URLs to the dark web websites that it had gathered.
This technique works pretty similarly to the way the early search engine web crawlers had worked. The method best performs when applied to the best hacker forums on the darkweb. This is because the users often link their discussions to the other forum posts and comments. By detecting at least one hacker forum that is found on a directory, grave security-related forums can easily be located in no time.
For developing the dark web crawler, one needs to set up the environment. It would also be beneficial if someone is trying to scrape out the data from the darknet forums identified.
What Are The Dangers of Accessing The Deep Web Hacker Forums?
As the dark web is the hidden part of the internet that gives rise to and promotes diverse criminal activities, one needs to access the dark web with care and caution. It offers solid training grounds for the latest techniques and strategies for both the experienced and inexperienced hackers. Thus, it becomes utmost important for the security professionals to know about the rising methods for the efficacy of their security strategies.
Some of the many primary safety concerns and the dangers of the dark web are listed below:
The law enforcement authorities operate on the dark web most frequently in the bid to catch the cybercriminals. Just as the regular users of the dark web, they are counted as one of the users and can operate under the anonymous cloak. Thus, it is essential to keep in mind that one can be prosecuted for things that you may indulge in on the dark web. Hence, you need to behave legally and appropriately.
It is not at all astonishing that a lot of the hackers on the dark web is excessively interested in showing off their talents and bring themselves to your notice so that you may accidentally cross them. Some of the websites that you may visit on the dark web are capable of infecting your device with some potent viruses. Thus, you must be suspicious of any and all links that you download from there. Specifically, some of the viruses are more perilous and needs to be watched for such as ransomware and spyware or anything in between. Adding to this, if you happen to click on any links, you might be taken to the website or material that you do not want to visualize and that many of the individuals might find it quite disturbing.
While accessing the dark web .onion links, there is a possibility that your webcam can be hijacked. Thus, it is better and of course, a smart practice to cover up the webcam using black tape or plastic if you are not using it at that moment. Some people might attempt to gain access to the webcam located in your device utilizing a Remote Administration Tool or commonly known as RAT.
Why Do The Security Researchers Need To Scrutinize The Dark Web Forums?
There are potential dangers and difficulties of accessing the dark web hacking forums, and there are methodologies to find the relevant forums. As we have already covered how to locate hacker forums for security research, it is time to know why dark web monitoring is essential.
Identifying The Latest Hacking Strategies & Technologies
The dark web serves as the most effective platform to learn about new hacking strategies and tools. It also offers the purchase of exploit kits to hackers. Plus, the terrorist organizations actively take part in the dark web forums and openly discuss the violence against the others (a worst-case scenario). Thus, it is pivotal to monitor the dark web utilizing the latest dark web monitoring tools to investigate and understand the mindsets of the hackers and the methods they implement. This would also aid security professionals to develop counter strategies and techniques.
Know & Filter Chaos Surrounding Your Organization’s Name
There is a lot of chaos on the internet, and preferably some may include your organization’s name. Owing to the nature of the dark web forums, there would be a lot of negative discussion relating to your organization. Along with the talks, other topics revolving around the stolen data for sale and the exploit kits are openly discussed on the dark web. It is better to identify these as soon as possible, and sooner they appear. This would help one to take efficient steps and mitigate the threats, thus reducing any potential damage.
What Information On The Cyber Feeds Can Help Identify Potential Scenarios?
The following information would be highly advantageous to help potential scenarios:
- Compromised accounts and servers
- Discussions on and/or exposure of the data breaches
- Hacking for hire or hackers-for-hire
- Money laundering (ML)
- Sale and/or publication of personal information such as SSN, phone numbers, email etc.
- Sale of counterfeit (fake) and/or stolen goods
- Sale of the financial data
Top Dark Web Forum Sites Links List
The dark web forums are great places to get knowledgeable on various aspects of the dark web like the market reviews, hacking, cybersecurity, scam sites, drugs and much more. Here, we have listed out some of the best hacker forums on Tor with their updated links. These dark web hacker forums allow you to share a variety of information of a diverse niche or dedicated hackers forum 2020 to a specific topic.
Note: We have also included few scam forums whose threads, reviews and comments must not be relied upon.
|➧ Tor Link: dreadditevelidot.onion|
One of the most reached out forums on the dark web is The Hub. It enables discussion of the topics related to cryptocurrency, security and the darknet marketplaces. The deep web forum boasts over 127,000 members and over 26,000 various subjects. This makes it inevitable as the users would be able to get a lot of information and customer reviews on the vendors, products and the deep web markets. You will have to register if you want to take part in all the activities of the darknet forum like posting comments, view content, open new content etc. The forum is free to use and open for all.
|➧ Tor Link: thehub7xbw4dc5r2.onion|
Torum can be termed as a renowned cybersecurity forum or best hacking forum that has been launched back in May 2017. It is one of the most trendy forums bearing over 60,000 members along with 79,000 posts. The Torum users discuss a variety of topics like website pentesting, malware, cryptography, wireless networking, operating systems (OS), DDoS and social engineering.
|➧ Tor Link: torum43tajnrxritn4iumy75giwb5yfw6cjq2czjikhtcac67tfif2yd.onion|
It is one of those onion forums that deals with questions and answers related to the dark web. Being a question-answer forum, it lets the users to freely ask questions and get them answered on a diverse range of topics including dark web sites, darknet market reviews, tips and tricks on hacking and more.
|➧ Tor Link: answerszuvs3gg2l64e6hmnryudl5zgrmwm3vh65hzszdghblddvfiqd.onion|
BHF can be termed as a hacker forum on the dark web. It prides over its 200,000 members. The dark web link allows the users to access the platform without requiring to register. You can access the messages and threads. But if you want to actively take part in the forum by messaging or posting comments, then you have to sign up. The forum is mostly based on the Russian language which is the reason, you would have to translate it using Google Chrome or a translator to be able to understand the discussion there. The discussion threads are uploaded based on real-time having topics that attract over one lakh responses. One of the features that makes it a traffic-rich hacker forum is the “contests” that includes competition and giveaways like VPN accounts, Bitcoin (BTC) prizes and various other items. It enables the users to have programs such as Proxy, Checkers, SQL, Hash, Bruteforcers and more. Being a user, you can even purchase user passwords, leaked databases, codes, accounts and even trade cryptocurrencies. The “Webmaster” section lets you access tips and tools on digital marketing.
|➧ Tor Link: bhf.io|
It is a hacker forum on the deep web that serves as an online directory. It lists out various programming and hacking related materials. Apart from taking part in the discussion, the users will be able to access the search engines, the darknet marketplaces and various other services.
|➧ Tor Link: hackerw6dcplg3ej.onion|
It is an old and popular hacker forum on the dark web whose interface is not the best. The threads on TorChan include games, hacking, market reviews and much more. You would be required to enter a username and a password on a pop-up window, if you happen to be a first time user.
|➧ Tor Link: zw3crggtadila2sg.onion|
It is a very different kind of forum that offers the threads that have been opened by the other users on a single page. The users would not be able to comment on the threads but can only check them out on the forum in the threads opener. The topics that find a place in this deep web forum are technology, board meta, the lounge, politically incorrect, anime and video games, archive and some random stuff. Although it is different from the others, it is an active forum as seen by its users who update content on the forum daily and on a variety of boards.
|➧ Tor Link: nanochanpwz3xnue76gteysv6wjm5sim3bbcm2lc65x625at774k77qd.onion|
KickAss is one of the best hacker forums on dark web that specializes in malware, accounts and exploits. They have a strict captcha and one has to request before they can join. You could also find topics on basics, server hacking, smartphone hacking, passwords cracking, reverse engineering and a lot more.
|➧ Tor Link: kickassugvgoftuk.onion|
Carding Team is a tor carding forum and possesses discussions on a variety of carding and non-carding topics, tools and information. It has 1.63+ lakhs registered users and over 33,000 threads and replies. Some of the threads share hacking tools, botnets, crypters, RATs, Trojans and tutorials on E-whoring. It also performs as a marketplace.
|➧ Tor Link: cardingteam.cc|
BiTSHACK is a hacking forum for hackers having over half a million individual messages of a total of 1.39+ lakhs of individual threads. It offers anonymous access and the registration is absolutely free. The focus discussion revolves around hacking and security including tutorials and tools, legal hacking, PC protection and more.
|➧ Link: bitshacking.com/forum|
It is one of the most advanced hacking forums that also serve as a marketplace simultaneously. You would not generally need registration to browse the forum. But if you want to trade on the platform, you would have to load funds prior to trading. The platform lets you purchase or test exploits from various categories like remote exploits, private, local exploits, dos/poc, shell-code and web applications. Moreover, you can check out the review in the comment section against each exploit. If you want, you can also go ahead and share your valuable feedback with the other members of the hacker forum.
|➧ Link: mvfjfugdwgc5uwho.onion|
Wall Street (SCAM)
Wall Street might give you the feel of a stock forum, but its posts are related to the darkweb financial services like PayPal accounts and cloned credit cards. The forum is no longer active as the last post was dated back in 2016. It is still online presumably for scamming the new users of dark web.
|➧ Tor Link: z2hjm7uhwisw5jm5.onion|
$$ The Green Machine $$ (SCAM)
It is a well-known scam deep web hacker forum specifically related to carding. The user interface is pretty basic and old. The most discussed topic in this notorious hacking forum was cloned credit card sales and possibly this is a scam post of the forum.
|➧ Tor Link: he22pncoselnm54h.onion|
Top Dark Web Forums of 2021 Recognized For Your Cybersecurity
The darknet is full of various dark web websites that includes a number of forums. In this article, we will take you through the best 10 dark web forums of all kinds that you must explore in 2021. The forums are taken into consideration based on parameters such as foundation year, language, product category and the size of the user base.
- Created: 2002
- Main Language: English
- Statistics: 475K members
- Topics of Interest: Database sharing and cracking
The CrackingKing is a community-based forum that offers tools and tutorials for the hackers. Apart from this, you can find some information related to the data leaks as well and also gain access to their marketplace. Being created back in 2002, it is solely based on the English language having 475K members.
- Created: October 2003
- Main Language: English
- Statistics: 22M unique guests monthly
- Topics of Interest: Harassment, attacks against other websites and internet users, posting of illegal content, threats of violence, misogyny, and racism
Usually, 4chan is a darknet forum that focuses on anime (Japanese style of television and animation films). As it grew, it included adult content as well. As compared to the other forums, it offers greater security and anonymity. The users can opt to keep the name field blank while posting anything. Also, one of the most striking features, which other forums lack is the “disappearing posts” that work simply as the disappearing messages in a couple of social media platforms. As the user or author sets a particular time limit, the post automatically disappears from the listings making it difficult for the law enforcement agencies and other users difficult to find. This has resulted in the excessive media attention draw as it elevated cyberbullying, harassment, child pornography, threats of violence and much more.
- Created: March 2015
- Main Language: English
- Statistics: 475K members
- Topics of Interest: Database sharing and cracking
The RaidForums is a pretty well-known forum that ultimately became famous for its high profile mega leaks. The database available on the forum offers exclusive breached database and data leaks. This website is not just a forum honestly. It also provides an active marketplace-based forum platform for the sale of these data leaks. As of the current time of writing, the darknet forum cum marketplace houses over a thousand new members along with 4000+ daily posts (includes threads and comments on the earlier posts). As of now, over 2.5 million posts have already been published in the RaidForums.
- Created: 2015
- Main Language: English
- Statistics: 3.6M members
- Topics of Interest: Leaks, hacking
Nulled was just a forum back then until it had undergone a database leakage of 9.65 GB in 2016. The leaked database contained PayPal email addresses, invoices, purchase records and passwords. The law enforcement agencies grabbed the advantage of the database leak and got hold of the hackers and the cybercriminals who used the platform. Earlier known as Nulled.io (now nulled.to) is one of the largest forums that deals with various illicit content containing pentesting, data leaks and money-making scams. The forum started its journey in 2015 having English as their primary language and has 3.6 million members. The forum has got two segments, one for the VIP and the other for the premium members.
- Created: 2017
- Main Language: English
- Statistics: 3.6M members
- Topics of Interest: Leaks, hacking
CryptBB was launched back in 2017 and initially started out as a English-speaking private hacking forum. It is an English-based forum having 3.6 million members. It was known for its precise application policy that only accepted members who managed to pass an interview. But in recent times, it has expanded its policies and has added a new segment in the website dedicated to the newbies.
- Created: September 2018
- Main Language: Russian
- Statistics: 26K members
- Topics of Interest: Malware exploits, vulnerabilities, carding, access sales, and credential databases
XSS is referred to as the rebranded version of the Russian-language dark web forum that was earlier known as DamageLab, whose admit had been arrested. The forum is well reputed amongst the cybercriminals as the darknet forum bears 217K posts in total and a daily posting of 120 posts. The forum mainly features the discussion on various illegal topics that are primarily related to financial fraud and hacking. Additionally, the forum bears more sections and threads that remain hidden until one has obtained a paid membership against a premium account. Currently it has 26K+ members.
FreeHacks is considered as one of the most renowned and largest hacking forums on the internet. The Russian hacker and cybercriminal community helps in the development of their own skill set, expands and solidifies their knowledge with the help of acquired resources from the forum.
It is a hacking oriented educational platform that houses numerous courses. The forum focuses on educating the new hackers and as well as the cybercriminals to aid them develop their hacking skills. With these skills they can successfully pull off the various phishing campaigns, fraud attacks and much more.
Why Do Cybercriminals Use The Dark Web Forums On A Large Scale?
In the past couple of years, criminal activities on both the forums and the dark web have gained a lot of attention. This was probably from the Silk Road gaining much acceptance and the downfall of the marketplace where the criminals traded illegal goods such as weapons and drugs. The dark web and the underground forums pose a significant threat to the companies as it also influences the cybercriminal operations. There are also some advantages that make the cybercriminals use the dark web forums and the dark web as a whole rigorously. Here are the advantages that we are talking about:
- Anonymous, Easy and Lucrative
The darknet forums gain popularity due to several factors. The primary factors are that it is relatively easier to access any forum. The user would need the Tor browser, a premium VPN, internet connection, the URL of the forum and in some cases a translator. The translator is used mostly for the forums that are based on the other language apart from English. The VPN and Tor keep the user anonymous. The users having basic IT knowledge can access any underground forum by conducting some fundamental research.
The operations that are conducted within an underground forum are much lucrative. The most popular amongst the visitors by far are the stolen accounts. Researches state that the visitors can purchase each account serving a video streaming service at just around one euro. The hackers often steal these accounts conducting a successful attack on the databases that are composed of hundreds and thousands of accounts. These stolen accounts are then sold on the dark web in bulk. It has been reported that often these sales are automated and the hackers can earn a lot of money online.
- Ransomware Fetches Hefty Amounts
One of the biggest concerns for the companies is the influence of dark web on malware development, especially ransomware. However, the transaction volume of the ransomwares on the darknet forum is typically less as the ransomware price is usually high. Yet, ransomware stays a significant income source for the cybercriminals. A statistics mentions that back in 2016, over one billion dollars (885 million Euros) had been earned globally with ransomware, which by the time has grown enough.
Although there are some sunnier sides of the dark web forums, there are some negative trends as well. One of the major negative trends is the trust factor which gave rise to the DarkNet Trust, a website that validates vendors while increasing anonymity.
To conclude, the hacker forums on the dark web is more than what one might think. Thus, there is an urgent need to search for the online hacking forums of the dark net, follow it closely and take necessary steps to perform strong cybersecurity.
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