23 Apr 2019
Before we get down to how the Cyber crime is sheathing itself behind the curtains of SSL Certificate that is using the Dark Web is the medium to Black market the certificates, we first need to understand what SSL Certificate is all about.
What is SSL Certificate and why is it required?
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) changes the HTTP connection to HTTPS connection where “S” stands for Secure. It is mandatory now after Google clearly stated that if the website is not securely encrypted it will send a warning to the user web-browser prompting them to jump off the site. With this, not only the website will lose the traffic but, also regular bounce rate would take the website off the Google track banning the website completely.
SSL Certificate secures connection in a way that it helps lock unsecured data from escaping the connection created which means any credit card transactions, online payment gateways or any information from one server to the other is encrypted and secure where no malicious activity can take place.
SSL is required because it provides authentication which means that the information that is being sent to a server, one will know where the information is going or coming from. Internet is not secure where phishing is a common problem. To ensure that your information is safe and is going to the right server where nobody can hack or try to get the data, SSL helps in establishing that kind of connection. Also, to have an SSL Certificate means you are building trust among the user where the user will freely use the services without worrying for someone trying to hack their systems.
Now, that we know the purpose and importance of SSL Certificate, let's understand the fumigating cyber crime that is ruining and disgracing the security of a user.
Website Development has been at risk and, that is why there came a need to establish a secure connection so that user data stay protected and not cause any kind of infringement. But, SSL Certificate is now wrapped in the flames of Black Marketing. The hackers who understand the dark web deeply are using it as a medium to fake the SSL Certificate security. They are entering into the secure connections hacking the systems, causing financial loss, hacking credit card details and this is becoming a mainstream problem these days.
NEW FLASH: Cyber security Research Group at Georgia State University and the University of Surrey reveals Sale of SSL Certificates!!!
The whole purpose of changing HTTP to HTTPS was to create a secure connection among the sender and the recipient so that the information stays end to end. But, not anymore! It is recently highlighted by the University of Surrey and Georgia State that the dark web is infringed and there is a sale of SSL certificates by the cyber criminals. This means that you may enter a website which may look completely safe with showing no malware and no prompt message on the web browser asking the user to jump off otherwise like in the case of unsecured connections.
What happens is that the cyber criminals sell the whole package to the hackers which include the old domains, SSL certificates and machine identity. It is like a superior form of certification like Extended Validation (EV) certificates which is in frequent use in Companies registered in the United States and the United Kingdom that fools the search engines where it believes the website is on a secure connection.
What is Dark Web and how do the cyber criminals use it to their advantage?
96 per cent of the Internet is Dark Web. What you see is only a fraction and a virtual image behind the numbers that control the whole internet and its algorithms. The Dark web is mainly useless but not for the hackers as it is a space where they can find from anything to everything. Whatever files that we delete or connections we establish, the temporary skins are formed that stays on the server until the action is completed. In the Dark Web, the information is regularly sent out from whatever we do and send on the internet. This means that nothing that you delete is actually deleted as it is somewhere stuck in the Dark Web.
The Dark Web is inaccessible by the search engines and only those who know how to access this part of the Digital World are either the Government agencies for securing data or the criminals to pry into the data. The Dark Web is strong and unlimited where it can be used to the best of its potential which is why the sensitive information is kept by the Government agencies on highly encrypted Dark Web space.
As it is difficult to crack, hackers cannot easily enter the Dark Web and enter into Government Data. But, it does pose a threat to the general public where their information is always at risk as the Internet and the search engines are always prone to the cyber crimes. The Hackers can crack the codes of 4 per cent of the Internet which is not part of the Dark Web but it becomes the medium to hack into the systems.
With SSL Certificates being leaked and sold on the Black Market, a healthy looking website can be a phishing attack to get into your bank details or any other sensitive information and use it for their selfish reasons.
So, if you think that every HTTPS website is safe then, think again! HTTPS does not mean safe. “S” stands for secure, the connection is secure when one logs into the website but will there be the safety of the user or not, it is highly debatable. Especially, as now the SSL certificates are on sale by the cyber criminals.
Website Development in India is an essential gateway to connect to the world globally and if one owns a Business that run through the medium of an e-commerce website or the like, then creating a secure gateway is a must.
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