DarkCyber for May 28, 2019, Now Available

May 28, 2019

DarkCyber for May 28, 2019, is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at  https://www.vimeo.com/338518927. The program is a production of Stephen E Arnold. It is the only weekly video news shows focusing on the Dark Web, cybercrime, and lesser known Internet services.

This week’s story line up includes: The Offensive Community hacking Web site; malware requires no user action to seize mobile phone data; Dutch police deal with prisoner monitoring failure; a snapshot of Cobwebs Technologies’ investigative software; and China’s Great Firewall burns Wikipedia.

This week’s feature provides information about hackers for hire on the regular Internet, no Dark Web surfing required. The Offensive Community Web sites offers a classified advertising service. Hackers can post their capabilities in order to attract customers. The information on the site references a range of exploits which can be used for positive as well as illegal activities. Forums provide information and sources for botnets, keyloggers, remote access controls, specialized scripts, and related functions.

Other stories covered in the May 21, 2019, DarkCyber video include:

First, malware, allegedly developed by a specialist vendor supporting government customers, can compromise a mobile phone. What makes this alleged exploit notable is that the standard way of placing malware on a user’s device is to require that the user click a link or take some other action. That action allows the attacker to place the exploit on the user’s phone. The new approach requires only that the target has Facebook’s WhatsApp installed. The attacker places an in app voice call to the target. The exploit automatically uses a programming error in WhatsApp to compromise the target’s phone. The method was allegedly used to track the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The fact that this method is no longer secret provides sufficient information to ensure that other bad actors will seek to emulate this technique.

Second, a botched software update in the Netherlands disabled prisoner ankle bracelets. These devices are used to monitor prisoners under house confinement. When these devices go offline, the monitored individual can flee the country or return to his or her pre-arrest activities. The Dutch police experienced a similar outage in 2018 when the mobile phone system used to transmit data went down. The modern ankle bracelet includes the tracking technology, but can also include two-way communications, alcohol level monitoring, and anti-removal technology. There are videos allegedly showing how one removes these devices, but tampering with the devices typically leads to additional charges.

Third, DarkCyber provides a profile of the basic functions available in the investigative software developed by Cobwebs Technologies. This is an Israeli startup which allows a user to extract actionable information from open source content. The tools available include a search and retrieval system and analytics. Data can be displayed in a visual format, including maps. DarkCyber’s overview includes examples of the interface and analytic reports.

Finally, China’s Great Firewall has blocked Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. The online information service publishes content in numerous languages, and China has blocked every version of the digital encyclopedia. China’s approach to information control is part of a larger effort to maintain order and ensure government control of citizen activity. The process is called “Chinafication,” and the censorship method is influencing other governments’ approach to ensuring civil order.

DarkCyber appears each Tuesday and is available on YouTube, Vimeo, and directly from the DarkCyber news service.

Kenny Toth, May 28, 2019

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