About Darknet

Darknet was Born – 1999

Darknet is a group of like-minded individuals founded around 1999 sharing knowledge in password cracking, cracking, cryptography, programming (C++, VB, Delphi, C, Pascal, Assembly, Python, PERL, Bash and so on), network security, Linux, Windows, UNIX and more.

It started off on EFNet IRC network back in the days when being a script kiddy was moderately cool, packet wars were in and lame DOS attacks like WinNUKE and the ath0++ modem drop were cool.


From that we progressed along, I got myself a web host and made a simple site for my first real domain, https://www.darknet.org.uk was born in the year 2000.

It had a lame page with bright green Darknet graphic and thats all.

We continued playing around with DoS attacks and started learning about DDoS and some real network security (NetBIOS etc.)


2001 SteeJans and I actually made a decent site design, it didn’t have much content in the beginning.

Back then there was no such thing as Firefox, Opera cost money and so sadly the site only worked in Internet Explorer.

It started out with a simple design from a friend of mine and profiles from most of the members in the Darknet.org IRC channel.

Darknet - Original Site

Nothing else much happened in 2001, we added some rules, disclaimer, some more profiles from the members and some mIRCStats logs.

I started compiling my fairly famous computer security links list too, which I posted to Usenet often.

We also started to develop a decent list of tools and a few exploits on the logs page.

Most are outdated now and there are plenty of sites doing it better nowadays, so I won’t try and copy the same thing again.

During 2001 we also discovered the fun http://www.try2hack.nl and I got up to level 6 in one go, which was good for me back then..


During 2002 we started focusing a little more on knowledge rather than just tools, myself especially, so I uploaded a good bunch of tutorials and information I’d collected over the year before.

Early in 2002 I also wrote the well-received paper on How to Secure Windows 2000, a lot of is still relevant to Windows XP.

Downloaded over 100,000 times on Packetstorm.

2002 was busy for me doing my final year project, also learn about NetBIOS over TCP/IP when someone deleted all the VCDs I’d just downloaded over dialup (took about 6 days per CD..).

Towards the end of 2002 I got the famous computer security links list into the state where it was useful to people and got some good recognition in Usenet, it was also referenced in someones SANS paper as a ‘Blackhat’ resource..

In May 2002 Chris and I made a Darknet forum, which we quickly saw the potential of and registered http://www.security-forums.com, which we poured our time into.

SFDC - Original Site

Once I’d started that, I didn’t pay that much attention to Darknet as it took up all my time.


The forum grew exponentially to a few thousands members within a few months and took over my life, I also got in Linux during this stage and wrote a simple guide on How to Install Debian 3.0 Woody.

Darknet had died off pretty much, no updates and everyone was studying hard or just started working. We kept in touch occasionally through IRC on DALnet.


There was actually 0 updates in 2004 and it skipped straight to 2005, Darknet could be considered dead during 2003-2004.

Darknet - No News

There was a recruitment drive in 2003/4 but it didn’t really work out. I didn’t have time to deal with it.


During 2003/2004 my knowledge had grown hugely from actually working in the field, setting up a lab at home and running Security Forums..

So Darknet popped back up in my mind, I ripped down the old site and made a plain HTML site with links to all the useful parts (logs & links) that worked in all browsers.

I then started thinking what to do with the site.

I had quite a bit of experience with WordPress by now, from my own site so decided to use that to reform Darknet.

I originally had grand ideas of memberships, articles, tools, tutorials and so on. But well the reality is, I would be doing everything as usual..so that wasn’t realistic.

I went for something I could manage alone, and other people could contribute to if they so wished.

I started playing around and before I knew it, it was 2006.


Here we are 2006, by the time February came I had got a few people together and I was happy with the look and functionality of the site.

Darknet was relaunched – February 8th 2006.

After the launch Darknet became quite a popular site, being cited as one of the Top 5 Security/Hacking Blogs and being featured on Digg front page many times:

  • THE Top 15 Security/Hacking Tools & Utilities
  • AJAX: Is Your Application SECURE Enough
  • Ophcrack 2.2 Password Cracker Released
  • 10 Best Security Live CD Distros (Pen-Test, Forensics & Recovery)
  • Password Cracking with Rainbowcrack and Rainbow Tables

And also featured on Slashdot:


We got nominated as A Finalist For The 2010 Social Security Bloggers Awards (Best Technical Security Blog) but of course we didn’t win.

No-one else contributes any more, it’s just me..as it was when it began. It’s been that way since 2006 really, and well I prefer it.

Anyway during March 2010 I started noticing some problems with the site, instability and loading issues, the old VPS was starting to play up and it was time to move onto bigger and better things after a whole lot of time wasted messing around trying to get the site stable.

If you’ve been reading regularly you might have noticed unavailability or extreme loading times during March. Anyway, it was about time I updated the look of the site and the functionality needed implementing properly so I took the change to put up a new theme and fix any inefficient parts of the old setup.

Darknet - 2009

And well here we are, April 2010 a new look for Darknet. A wider column, more modern look and larger text for my old eyes. Layout wise I tried to keep as similar to the old layout as possible so people didn’t get lost, and well the layout was fine I think.

Darknet - 2010

You can read the full Darknet Archives here.

There’s a bit of history on Archive.org aswell.

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