We are quite familiar with the concept of the deep web and the dark web. Another major concept which helps in the facilitation of the dark web is a hidden wiki. What is hidden wiki is a question in the minds of most people. A wiki, as per definition, is a database or a website which is developed by the collaboration of a community of users, individuals and private organizations, where any registered user can add/edit information.
A hidden wiki is the same thing. The only difference is that the information contained in the hidden wiki is part of the dark web. These kinds of information can be accessed by using tor where the user anonymity is maintained.
History of Hidden Wiki
The first hidden wiki was operated through an onion pseudo-top-level domain, which could be accessed using Tor or a Tor gateway. The main content of this hidden wiki contained a directory of deep web links to many of the hidden services provided on the dark web like a contract killing, drugs and arms trafficking, black hat services etc. One of its first iterations came into the picture before October 2011, which also portrayed its association with the illegal content.
Many of the major search engines like Google and Bing have indexed about 4.7 billion pages, which amounts to only 1-2% of the total internet. The rest of the internet is part of the deep web and the dark web. This again raises the question of what is a hidden wiki? To know about the content of the deep web and the dark web, hidden wiki is used. It combines the information of both the domains together. The deep web is different from the dark web in a lot of ways.
As discussed earlier, the deep web is the part of the internet where unindexed web pages and websites are present. The deep web requires special software and configuration to access them. The deep web must not be confused with the dark web. The dark web is a subset of the deep web. There are several reasons why a web page or a website can be categorized under the deep web. These include -:
- Contextual Web – pages having varying content for different access contexts.
- Dynamic content – Dynamic pages which are returned as a result of a submitted web query or accessed only through the form.
- Limited access content – Sites which have limited access to their pages like CAPTHCAs and ROBOTS Exclusion Standard.
- Non HTML/text content – Pages which have textual content encoded in a multimedia format.
- Private Web – Sites requiring specific registration and login to access their resources.
- Software – Content which requires special software like Tor or I2P to access them. The darknet can be categorized under this category.
- Unlinked content – Pages which are not linked by any of the search engines. The web crawlers are prohibited from accessing the content of these pages. These pages do not have a backlink, also called as in-links.
- What is a hidden wiki? As mentioned before, it consists of both the darknet and the dark web. It can be described as an overlay network which can be accessed only with specific software, configuration, and authorization. It also uses nonstandard forms of communications protocol and ports. The darknet has two major categories :
- Friend to Friend network – This is a type of peer to peer network where users are directly connected to each other. Authentication is done using passwords and digital signatures. It is not possible to know the other users in a network outside one’s own circle of the network, and this enables to build a strong F2F network while maintaining user anonymity.
- Privacy network – This is perhaps one of the best examples where Tor software is required to access it. Major uses of this type of network in the darknet include arms and drugs trafficking, trade of stolen goods, black hat services, file sharing of child pornography and confidential files etc.
Even today, people are still confused over what is a hidden wiki. But it is also important to know the ethical and non-ethical aspects of the dark web as well.
One should always –:
- Use a proper web browser like Tor to access the dark web and configure the settings properly.
- Use the online directions and links safely. The hidden wiki is a huge database of all sorts of information and data, and it easy to land up in a place which is dangerous and harmful to you.
One should never-:
- Confuse deep web with the dark web. Dark web is a subset of the deep web. Accessing the data from the dark web or deep web is legal, as long as one does not indulge himself/herself in illicit activities.
- Never enter your personal information anywhere on the dark web or click on suspicious links. The links on the hidden wiki must be followed carefully if one wishes to stay out of harm’s way.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, determining the exact meaning of what is hidden wiki may be difficult. A hidden wiki has a tremendous potential to hold a variety of data and information. However, how ethical or non-ethical the data stored in the hidden wiki is, is hard to comprehend. One must exercise extreme caution while accessing the dark web via the hidden wiki.