LP Magazine

JUL-AUG 2019

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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UNRAVELING THE MYSTERY OF THE DARK WEB 47 LP MAGAZINE | JULY–AUGUST 2019 censorship laws who want to read the news to protestors who are fighting against oppressive governments to LGBT citizens of a country where homosexuality is illegal. Licensed physicians even post free drug-related advice on forums. They know drug addicts are less likely to seek out medical advice on their own, which means health care professionals need to go out and find them on their own. Myth: Terrorists use the dark web to communicate. Though terrorists could easily use the dark web to communicate with one another, there are many other encrypted forms of communication that are more easily accessible. They typically use popular messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram, which are more accessible and exist on multiple platforms such as smartphones. Myth: The dark web is where mass shooters buy weapons. This is not an issue of concern in the United States, where someone can purchase a military-grade assault rifle at a gun show much more easily. However, the person who killed nine people and injured twenty-one others in Germany in July 2016 bought his gun from the dark web since firearm laws are much stricter in Europe. German police were able to discover his use of the dark web via two separate investigations into other attempts to use the dark web to obtain weapons. Myth: You will be hacked if you go on the dark web. If you use the same safe Internet practices you use on the surface web—don't share your personal information and don't download content from an untrusted source—then you will not be hacked on the dark web. Myth: You can "stumble" upon scary sites. The dark web is part of the deep web, which is not automatically indexed, as explained earlier. This means you have to actively look for sites on the dark web. It is impossible to "accidentally" come across criminal content. That can only happen if you are seeking it out. Myth: "Red rooms" are everywhere. Red rooms refer to the supposed websites where people live stream themselves mutilating or even murdering someone for "entertainment." However, they are mostly urban legend when it comes to the dark web. The Tor network is too slow to stream live video. If red rooms do exist, they would be found on the surface web, and it is highly unlikely that you would find one. A New Tool The dark web has a mysterious and dangerous reputation and a very colorful history. However, it is actually a simple concept to understand and use in your work. Like any investigations, you need the right tools, a clear idea of what you are looking for, and a healthy level of caution to protect yourself and your organization. With a solid understanding of the dark web in mind, you can use this new tool to your advantage and discover potential threats before they come actual attacks against your company. TOM MEEHAN, CFI, is retail technology editor for LP Magazine as well as chief strategy officer and chief information security officer for CONTROLTEK. Previously, Meehan was director of technology and investigations with Bloomingdale's, where he was responsible for physical security, internal investigations, systems, and data analytics. He currently serves as the chair of the Loss Prevention Research Council's (LPRC) innovations working group. Meehan recently published his first book titled Evolution of Retail Asset Protection: Protecting Your Profit in a Digital Age. He can be reached at TomM@LPportal.com. Accessing the dark web is completely legal. Furthermore, the content of the dark web is mostly legal— over 50 percent of the dark web does not contain illegal or illicit content.

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