According to cybersecurity experts, Hong Kong law enforcement authorities are powerless against illegal dark web activities since they have no legal basis to do so. Speaking about the dark net in general, Duncan Wong, director of security and data sciences at the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute, said that only 4 percent of the website on the internet could be crawled by conventional search engines:
“The dark web is a collection of websites. This collection can be accessed anonymously. A part of the dark web is pretty dark. People use it to exchange malicious software, like recently popular ransomware. On the dark web, people are also selling drugs and some websites are related to pornography.”
Ransomware is one of the most horrible nightmares of both companies and individuals: it is a type of malware that locks down the computer of the victims who are told to pay Bitcoins to the attacker in order to get access to their data again.
As of March 2016, the Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre had already received a total number of 18 reports about the use of ransomware. Victims included small businesses and non-governmental organizations, and the cybersecurity team believed there were many more unreported cases.
Information technology lawmaker Charles Mok stated that it is almost impossible to regulate illegal activities on the dark web since most of the activity there takes place in other countries. His statement goes by:
“It’s something that exists, unless you completely cut yourself off from the internet. It’s impossible to shut it down. The government has always been late in understanding the problems. I don’t think there is anything to worry about. There is no way to stop the dark web, and it has its value for different people. It will be there forever. You can shut down some of the drug dealing sites like Silk Road and then Silk Road 2.0 is out.”
According to Wong, the best way for businesses to protect themselves it to regularly back up files on a computer, which is not always connected to the internet.