Pattern of Life Analysis to Help Decrypt Dark Web Actors

October 18, 2016

Google funded Recorded Future plans to use technologies like natural language processing, social network analysis and temporal pattern analysis to track Dark Web actors. This, in turn, will help security professionals to detect patterns and thwart security breaches well in advance.

An article Decrypting The Dark Web: Patterns Inside Hacker Forum Activity that appeared on DarkReading points out:

Most companies conducting threat intelligence employ experts who navigate the Dark Web and untangle threats. However, it’s possible to perform data analysis without requiring workers to analyze individual messages and posts.

Recorded Future which deploys around 500-700 servers across the globe monitors Dark Web forums to identify and categorize participants based on their language and geography. Using advanced algorithms, it then identifies individuals and their aliases who are involved in various fraudulent activities online. This is a type of automation where AI is deployed rather than relying on human intelligence.

The major flaw in this method is that bad actors do not necessarily use same or even similar aliases or handles across different Dark Web forums. Christopher Ahlberg, CEO of Recorded Future who is leading the project says:

A process called mathematical clustering can address this issue. By observing handle activity over time, researchers can determine if two handles belong to the same person without running into many complications.

Again, researchers and not AI or intelligent algorithms will have to play a crucial role in identifying the bad actors. What’s interesting is to note that Google, which pretty much dominates the information on Open Web is trying to make inroads into Dark Web through many of its fronts. The question is – will it succeed?

Vishal Ingole, October 18, 2016
Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


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