Brody Taylor’s online activities take place in the ‘Deep Web’, which, unfortunately is a real online phenomenon. Also known as ‘Deepnet’ and the ‘Hidden Web’, it hides beneath the ‘Surface Web’ and is not indexed by standard search engines. Because the Deep Web is not indexed, you have to know how to get in. Much of it can only be accessed by using special software such as Tor, which allows users to access websites, surface or deep, anonymously. And if you’re in the Deep Web you definitely want to remain anonymous.
And once inside, what can you find? Well almost anything illegal. Down there are many criminal black markets. This article in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper paints a disturbing picture. It shows how you can access the Deep Web to hire hitmen, purchase drugs, access child pornography and take part in every other illicit activity you can think of. It’s also the place where black hat computer hackers hang out, sharing and selling their exploit kits to other hackers or script kiddies. And thanks to untraceable cyber-currencies like Bitcoin, it’s even easy to trade without being traced back to your real-world identity by law enforcement agencies.
But as dark and dangerous as the Deep Web is, it really makes a wonderful backdrop on which I base my contemporary cyber-crime thrillers. Brody, the elite computer hacker protagonist of the Deep Web Thriller Series, accesses the Deep Web in order to make contact with other hackers, obtain new exploit capabilities or, in my planned sequels, to track down the really bad guys trading anonymously through the Deep Web.