The dark web has become a source of legend and wrong info since the term showed up in the internet’s vocab. Tales of hitmen and hackers for hire. But the truth about dark web hacking forums is much less wild. The top hacking forums really just feature simple scams, data dumps, and cheap fraud tricks. Users tend to be third world IT types looking to make an easy buck. Still, you can get good intel as an infosec pro by scouring these sites.
For example, some sites often have data dumps. You can learn whether hackers have leaked data from your org, because the dump will appear for sale on the dark web. There are even services like CrowdStrike that have tools to do this for you. But if you don’t have the budget for that, doing it yourself isn’t so hard.
In this guide, we’ll show you the top dark web hacking sites. With screenshots, real URLs, and more, you’ll learn all you need to gain intel on the crime underworld.
Getting on the dark web
To hop on the dark web, just install the Tor Browser. It’s a normal browser based on Firefox that can run through Tor to access hidden “onion” sites. The install guide is here: https://www.torproject.org/download/
From there, you’ll have to find some real dark web sites to browse to. There are lots of places that claim to have good links. Still, be careful – lots of places will give fake links and try to trick you. Scams are everywhere, so we want to find only the real links for legit places. Keep reading, because we’re about to do just that!
Quick guide to dark web hacking forums
Let’s get into it – real hacking forums and how they can help you learn about what hackers are up to. We’ll include real, working links. Be careful, many scammers are on these sites. And don’t download leaked DB’s because it could be illegal.
Imagine if the dark web had it’s own version of Reddit. Well, it (kind of) does: http://dreadytofatroptsdj6io7l3xptbet6onoyno2yv7jicoxknyazubrad.onion
All kinds of illicit stuff going on, so be careful what you click! In addition to finding leaks of your org’s data, Dread also has lots of talk of how to hack. So you can get an idea of new attacks that hackers are trying.
The king of all hacking forums. It costs $100 just to join, but this is where things go down. Great for intel and monitoring, and just learning in general. Most content is in Russian, but lots of English too. Just open Tor browser and go to exploit.in, and it will offer to switch to the Tor version. Considering how Western govs are targeting Russia with hacks, the odds of both sides using hacking to disrupt commerce is higher than ever. Make an account to keep your company ready.
Just be careful. Lots of illegal commerce goes on here, and just taking part of the wrong convo can put you into legal hot water. Just read and learn, and def don’t engage in any commerce here. You will see scams and crime, so watch out.
XSS (formerly DamageLab)
Another Russian forum. The URL is xss.is, but to really get in you’ll have to access the page via Tor. You can use Google Translate to see what’s going on, just like with exploit.in. Besides, lots of users here speak English. This forum is more about learning, so expect to get a cutting edge view of the techniques every day cybercrime people are using to hack.
Even though this is black hat, the admins promote learning rather than crime, so you get a very unique vibe here.
This one is accessible over clearnet as well as Tor, but most activity is via the dark web. The URL is breached.to. So why is this on here? Because it’s the new version of the famous RaidForums. Any infosec leader should watch this board. This is where hackers go to leak and sell db’s, just like yours.
By keeping an eye on this forum, you can see when big data leaks happen. Even if it’s not your org’s data, your users might suffer if their credentials are the same on your service as on others.
Finding other dark web hacking forums
These are great sources, but what else is out there? And what if these go down? You’ll need a way to find the newest and most dangerous hacker forums. Here are the best places to find the hottest hacking forms on the dark web:
- dark.fail – a directory of verified onion links such as hacker forums
- reddit.com/r/onions – lots of noobs, but also okay info
- Dread. That’s right, it’s easy to find onions using the /d/onions subdread.
Have fun collecting dark web forums! It’s fun to dive in and see just how deep the rabbit hole goes. Tor and the dark web are an ocean of depth where you’ll find everything you want, and many things you really do not. Good luck!
Conclusion – dark web hacking forums are a great tool
The dark web is fun, but also scary. Sites like Dread have boring forums about normal things. Then, right next to that, they have sections about drugs, fraud, killing, and of course, hacking! As infosec pros, browsing these places lets us take the pulse of the hacker crime world. We get to see their doings from the inside, and learn their next move before they even get a chance to make it.
On black hat forums, you can learn things that white hat places don’t tend to discuss. So you get a more real look into the tactics used by real hackers, rather than the theory heavy books you used in college. Reading these forums is just fun, but you’ll also learn a ton. So good luck, and as always, happy hacking!