Dark Web Crime Statistics And Facts

Barry Elad

Updated · Feb 01, 2024

Dark Web Crime Statistics And Facts

Dark Web Crime Statistics: The Dark Web is the World Wide Web content that is available in darknets: overlay networks that utilize the Internet but require specific software or configurations for access. With the dark internet private networks, computers can connect and do business on a completely anonymous basis without divulging personal information, for example, the location of a user. The dark web constitutes only a tiny portion of the deep web, which is the portion of the internet that is not searched by web search engines. However, sometimes the term”deep web” is misused to refer to dark internet. In this article, we will learn more details about Dark Web Crime.

The darknets that make up the dark web are comprised of smaller, peer-to-peer networks and big, well-known networks like Tor, Freenet, I2P, and Riffle that are operated by public entities as well as individuals. People who use the dark web identify the standard web as Clearnet because of its unencrypted nature. It is a dark web or onionland. Tor dark web, also known as onionland employs the traffic anonymization technique known as onion routing using the domain's top-level suffix .onion.

The Dark Web Crime Statistics have frequently been misinterpreted as the deep web, which is the areas of the internet that are not found (searchable) in search engines. The term”dark web” was first coined in 2009, however, it is not known what the dark web was like when it first appeared. Most internet users access the web's surface, data that is accessible by the standard web browser. The dark web is only a tiny portion of the deep web, however, it requires a custom-built application to be able to browse its contents. This confusion has been around since at the very least 2009. In the years since, particularly in reports on the Silk Road, The two terms are often conflated despite recommendations that they be distinguished.

Editor's Choice

  • An estimated 57% of dark web listings have the potential to harm enterprises, according to research conducted by the University of Surrey.
  • According to a study conducted by the data leakage detection platform CybelAngel, 45% of medical data on the dark web is related to US patients.
  • A 2014 report by the Australian Crime Commission found there were more than 40,000 listings for illicit drugs on the dark web.
  • In 2019, there were over 5,000 reported instances of suspected child exploitation on the dark web, according to the FBI.
  • Cybersecurity company Sixgill found that mentions of coronavirus-related scams on the dark web increased by 738% in early 2020.
  • The dark web marketplace AlphaBay reported sales of over $600,000 a day before it was taken down, as per a report from the Department of Justice.
  • 40% of dark web portals are protected by a security service to avoid identification and tracking, as found in a study by OnionScan.
  • A study by cybersecurity firm ESET found that 29% of people have accidentally downloaded malware from the dark web.

The Dark Web Facts – The Economy

The connection between phishing and the dark web's economics has seen significant shifts over the past year, as a new set of opportunities for cybercrime fueled rapid growth. Everyone from major ransomware gangs to cybercrime-as-a-service gig workers is raking in crypto as cybercrime escalates. The demand for skilled cybercrime workers is high and hackers who specialize in phishing are sought-after and sought-after. experts have estimated that 90% of the posts on the most popular forums on the dark web are coming from customers seeking hacking and facilitation services. About 69% of forums on the dark web hire posts, we're seeking cybercriminals who can carry out web hacking. Another 21% are looking for criminals who can gain access to specific client or user databases.

Sometimes, hackers are advertising their services. Around 7% of forum posts analyzed were advertisements for hackers in search of jobs. In a time of economic growth, there are a variety of reasons why hackers are selling their goods. Some hackers have highly skilled expertise, such as specialists in Social Engineering or specialists of complex spear-phishing operations. Other hackers may be niche ones who are primarily involved in the realm of scams on social media or fake brand campaigns. Some may be brand new to the business and looking to build relationships, gain some experience to the test, or establish their credibility. Some cybercriminals prefer to remain drifters and change between cybercrime groups.

It is not the case that all “hackers” have been hackers. Some sell their easy-to-use cyberattack tools, making the barriers to entry into cybercrime extremely low. About 2% of posts on forums were created by cybercriminal software developers who were selling tools used in the trade, such as phishing kits. This technology makes phishing an easy plug-and-play procedure for those with no experience who are just beginning to get into the game. A total phishing operation with hosting and hosting costs about $500 per month with costs starting at thirty dollars monthly. Are you on a budget? Not a problem! The most affordable DIY kits can be purchased starting at just $20. Researchers added that the amount of pre-made kits for phishing has doubled to 16,200 unique phishing tools found in the market.

Dark Web Statistics

Dark Web Crime Statistics can be described in detail in the following paragraphs:

#1. Dark websites which could be harmful to an enterprise have increased by 20% since the year 2016.

A recent study in 2019 carried out by Dr. Michael McGuires at the University of Surrey, Into the Web of Profit reveals that the number of listings on the dark internet has grown by 20%. Of the 20% of listings, there are potential threats for companies. These could include malware as well as brute force, phishing, or trojan attacks.

#2. Based on The Privacy Affair's Dark Web Price Index 2021 Closed credit cards that have a PIN can cost between $25-35 dollars.

Dark webs aren't found by normal search engines, it's an online marketplace that criminals can use to commit crimes. Additionally, some users are lured to purchase stolen credit cards and other financial information to make quick money. Scammers usually use the data they collect about individuals to target companies with large numbers of employees.

#3. Experts and Scientists have discovered that 96% of the Internet is hidden. Of this, 90% is thought of as”the” Deep Web and the rest of 6% is considered to be the darkest portion of the internet.

The Dark Web is the least accessible part of the Internet and is obscured by mystery. It is necessary to download and run to use the TOR browser to get access. At the beginning of its creation, it was developed to enable a U.S. defense organization to transmit and receive data on their privacy using the anonymity of an IP. Today Tor Browser is mainly utilized for Darknet surfing and other activities.

#4. A handful of Fortune 1000 executives had their data published and made public on the dark web by 2020.

It is estimated that there are 25.9 million compromised Fortune 100 business accounts and 543 million compromised credentials for employees in the world, as per an exposure report on breaches. The most significant reason was employees recycle passwords between personal and professional accounts. Most breaches of data are typically due to intruder threats or phishing frauds.

#5. 60% of the information accessible through the Dark Web could potentially harm businesses.

Dark webs are a favored spot for criminal activities. Hackers who use the dark web could be identified as transferring illicit products such as firearms, drugs fake documents, as well as stolen credit card data. In addition, hackers can orchestrate targeted cybercrime against firms via phishing or malware attacks.

#6. 88% of consumers have had their email information leaked via the internet's dark side.

In addition to the items sold on the dark web mostly illicit drugs, 80% of emails of users are accessible. The leaks in data are the main reason why the majority of stolen information about online banking is kept in the shadow web.

The History of the Dark Web

(Source: unodc.org)

Dark webs have two roots. In the late 1990s, to protect internet connections from being hacked, researchers in the US Naval Research Lab created the first encrypted internet communication channel by routing and encryption of traffic through a variety of servers. Their work continued through the late 2000s, in the direction of MIT Graduate Roger Dingledine, eventually coalescing into The Tor Project and Tor browser which is a web browser that connects to Tor's anonymous network, which acts as a gateway for access to the dark internet.

In 1999, Ian Clarke and a group of internet users developed Clarke's master thesis on ” A Distributed, Decentralised Information Storage and Recovery System” which evolved into “Freenet,” the world's first peer-to-peer network that is decentralized. Freenet now known by its shortened name of Hyphanet has developed into an encrypted file-sharing, chatting, and web-based network, but it doesn't have any access to networks outside of the traditional web-based services.

Tor, Hyphanet, and derivatives such as Hyphanet, Tor, and offshoots like the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) make up the underground network of peer-to-peer services, which is today referred to as the dark web..

No one owns the dark web. It's managed as a service provided by users. It's difficult to determine exactly how many people are using the dark web since the anonymity of browsing is the best thing it can do and Tor's internal numbers indicate that approximately four million people access the dark web daily.

Although there are a myriad of legitimate reasons for people to access the internet dark, soaring growth in the aftermath of COVID-19 has increased in the cybercrime market and heightened security issues.

Top 10 Dark Web Statistics of 2024

It's hard to determine Dark Web Crime Statistics, however, it is estimated that there are millions of URLs on the dark web, and hundreds of thousands of active dark web sites which include thousands of marketplaces and forums.

These are our top 10 dark-web information you need to know about 2024:

  • ChatGPT replicas are popping up in the Dark web –  Security researchers have discovered AI chatbots on the dark internet that are constructed on top of massive language models (LLMs) similar to those used by ChatGPT. One instance, WormGPT, is adept in AI-driven frauds, particularly BEC or Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks. Another example, FraudGPT is an AI-driven chatbot that tricks individuals into revealing sensitive information or taking dangerous activities with as little as a few hundred dollars per month.
  • COVID-19 has created a dark web market for vaccines –  Cybercriminals took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to establish a vaccine certification market via the dark internet. When desperate individuals rushed to the dark web in search of certificates and vaccines, a new market emerged to satisfy the demands. The black market continued to be active.
  • Fentanyl is an online dark web profit center – In 2021, the dark web's distributor was discovered to be selling half one million fake oxycodone tablets filled with fentanyl and other drugs. in 2023 the operation SpecTor led in the confiscation of 850 kilograms of drug which included 64 kilograms of Fentanyl or fentanyl-laced narcotics and more than $53 million worth of currency and cash.
  • The Dark Web is home to their distinct criminal armies –  Before being taken over on April 20, 2022, the Russian cybercrime syndicate Hydra represented more than 80% of all darknet market-related transactions in cryptocurrency, with the sum of $5.2 billion. Hydra is now being taken over by the aspiring darknet superpowers OMG! OMG! Blacksprut, Mega, Solaris and Kraken.
  • The dark web started light –  One of Tor's initial uses was to conceal the identities and communications of American militants and dissidents under oppressive regimes in other countries. The primary goal of Freenet was freedom of expression and fighting the practice of censorship. This is a tradition that is still in force today, with dark web-based services like Secure Drop to upload sensitive documents and Ricochet Refresh for secure chat.
  • Drugs dominate the dark days –  Illicit drugs are the most popular commodity sold through the dark internet and make up more than 50% of transactions on the dark internet. Pharmaceuticals and cannabis make up about half of the dark web drug sales and MDMA and LSD make up another 20 percent or more or less.
  • Criminal services on the dark web vary from budget-friendly to premium –  In July 2022, 90% of exploits advertised on dark marketplaces are sold for under $10 and with an average of less than $2. Zero days (vulnerabilities that are not publicly disclosed) can fetch upwards of $10,000 on darknet marketplaces. The majority of the high-end exploit trade occurs through private channels.
  • Deller rep can be all – All cybercriminal marketplaces permit sellers and buyers to post reviews. Based on the research presented within the 2022 HP Wolf Security report 92% of the cybercriminal marketplaces provide dispute resolution services as well and 77% of the dark markets require a vendor license which could cost up to $3000. A majority of vendors have a good feedback rating of more than 65 percent.
  • Crypto is the new king –  Because of how difficult it is to track 98% of all dark web transactions are conducted using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) as well as Monero (XMR). The total amount of cryptocurrency used for illegal transactions was estimated to exceed $20 billion in 2022. exceeded $20 billion by 2022.
  • Cybercrime is itself an item –  It's safer to instruct people on cybercrime rather than doing it yourself. Experienced cybercriminals offer hacking instructions, playbooks, and cybercrime-specific courses on the dark internet.

Who is using the Dark Web?

Users primarily access the dark web using the TOR browser. More than 2 million active users connect to the dark web through the TOR browser every day.

Country Mean daily users
Russia 9982 (21.80 %)
United States 6324 (13.81 %)
Iran 3324 (7.26 %)
Germany 2096 (4.58 %)
Belarus 1791 (3.91 %)
Brazil 1711 (3.74 %)
India 1487 (3.25 %)
China 1391 (3.04 %)
United Kingdom 1299 (2.84 %)
Turkey 1019 (2.23 %)

(Source: idagent.com)

Users of the Deep Web and the Black Web?

Nearly everyone uses the deep web at least once a day for things like checking their email. Deep web refers to the portion of the internet that's not searchable and requires authentication to access it, similar to login credentials. Its Dark Web Crime Statistics is comprised of specifically encrypted portions of the deep web and it is utilized by cybercriminals as well as ordinary people who want to exchange information and transact secretly.

In 2023, 550,000 Americans utilized Tor every day. That represents just over 20% of all daily Tor users across the globe.

The Daily Tor Users:

  • Germany 47% of the German population
  • United States 21%
  • India: 1.89%
  • Finland: 1.86%
  • Russia 1.72%
  • The Netherlands 1.55%
  • Indonesia 1.48%
  • United Kingdom: 1.39%
  • France 1.38 13%
  • Iran 0.94%

According to one study English is by far the most used of all languages among Onion domains (73%) which is then Russian (11%), German (2.33%), French (2.15%) as well as Spanish (2.14%).

Why do Cyber Security Experts Concentrate on the Dark Web?

When browsing the normal web, users have access to any kind of content and data from any site. However, when it comes to the dark web you can easily access content that is illegal from websites selling illegal weapons, drugs malware, and other prohibited items.

They're all over the world. Everyone attempts to stay clear of them since they use encryption techniques to hide their identities.

Experts in cyber security are monitoring the various criminal activities that are taking place on these websites. They are also observing that these activities could be occurring simultaneously in some countries around the world. The main reason is the advanced use of encryption technology. These offer protection for sensitive data communications.

There's a wealth of information on the dark internet that's not accessible on the normal internet. For example, there are numerous sites across many nations where you can purchase or sell weapons and other drugs to exchange cryptocurrencies. There are websites across the globe that offer fake IDs, passports, and other fake documents that could help protect your identity.


Utilizing data from the Dark Web Crime Statistics, it's a great method to enhance your company's security measures. But only if you employ proactive security measures that include monitoring the darknet as well as conducting regular penetration tests to discover any security holes within your network, and regularly implementing education on security for your employees to inform your staff on the ways to recognize and report cyber security threats.

The hacks could cause massive disruptions to your business. It's crucial to implement preventive measures to limit the amount of cyber-attacks. It is also possible to secure your information from hackers using strict security measures.

The most beneficial thing about working with the darknet is understanding the ways your business's sensitive information is protected from cyber criminals and hackers.

Keep an eye on System Soft Technologies on social media to stay informed on protecting your crucial business data, and improving your company's security posture. Also, you can find other security-related articles, to keep you alert.

  • Security and Safety Statistics
  • Statistics
  • FAQ.

    What is the most common crime on the dark web?

    The most common types of crimes committed on the dark web are cybercrimes, including theft of personal information, illegal drug trafficking, illegal weapons trading, and distribution of child exploitation material.

    What percentage of the Internet is on the dark web?

    The dark web is only a small fraction (0.01%) of the deep web, which contains Internet content that is not searchable by your standard search engines. In other words, if Google can't find what you're looking for, it's probably still out there in the World Wide Web; it's just in the harder-to-access deep web.

    What illegal activity is on the dark web?

    Given its anonymous nature, the dark web is also used for illicit and even illegal purposes. These include the buying and selling of illegal drugs, weapons, passwords, and stolen identities, as well as the trading of illegal pornography and other potentially harmful materials.

    Can you be safe on the dark web?

    If you do choose to visit the dark web, though, there are a few precautions you should take to stay safe: Always use an anonymous browser like Tor, and keep your security settings at the maximum value, even if this limits your browsing experience.

    Who invented the dark web?

    The earliest form of the modern dark web arose in March 2000 when Irish student Ian Clarke developed and released Freenet, which offers anonymous communication online via a decentralized network of Freenet's users.

    What is dark web surveillance?

    Dark Web monitoring is a form of threat intelligence that involves scanning for your personal information on the Dark Web. It's a critical part of identity theft protection that allows you to address leaked data as soon as possible.

    Is your information on the dark web?

    How to Find Out if Your Information is on the Dark Web. All you need is a service that automatically checks the Dark Web for you. Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection scans the Dark Web to find if your personal information was exposed. It also helps you take action to protect your data.

    Is Hotspot Shield good for dark web?

    Install a VPN – A malware protection VPN such as Hotspot Shield protects your device from threats when browsing the dark web. It uses encryption and IP address masking to keep your sessions secure and anonymous, while also providing added malware protection by blocking infected sites.

    How serious is the dark web?

    Cybercrime, illegal activities, scams, and malware are just a few of the dangers that users face when using the Dark Web. It's important to use caution, be vigilant when using the Dark Web, and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.

    Why was the dark web created?

    In the late 1990s, two research organizations in the US Department of Defense drove efforts to develop an anonymized and encrypted network that would protect the sensitive communications of US spies. This secret network would not be known or accessible to ordinary internet surfers.

    Barry Elad
    Barry Elad

    Barry is a lover of everything technology. Figuring out how the software works and creating content to shed more light on the value it offers users is his favorite pastime. When not evaluating apps or programs, he's busy trying out new healthy recipes, doing yoga, meditating, or taking nature walks with his little one.

    Read next