DarkCyber for March 23, 2021, Now Available

March 23, 2021

DarkCyber for March 23, 2021, is now available at this link.

The March 23, 2021, program contains four stories.

The feature is an interview with the director of GovWizely, Erik Arnold. A former Lycos and Vivisimo executive, Mr. Arnold was a principal researcher on a study about the SolarWinds’ breach. The client for this report was an investment firm. The focus, therefore, was different from the obfuscation and marketing reports generated by cyber security firms and consultants.

Some of the report’s more interesting finding are discussed in the video. A more comprehensive review of the SolarWinds’ breach will be provided on March 25, 2021. Mr. Arnold will conduct an informational webinar on March 25, 2021, at 11 am Eastern time. Registration is required, but there is not charge for the one hour program. You can sign up at https://www.govwizely.com/contact/.

Other stories in the March 23, 2021, program are:

  • A look at the management and credibility challenges the Microsoft Exchange Server security lapses create
  • How anyone can implement an email tracking function. Three commercial services are mentioned and a GitHub repository is provided for those who want to reuse open source surveillance and monitoring code
  • The Russian GROM. This is a weapons capable drone which has been upgraded to carry 10 mini-drones. Each mini-drone can perform kinetic (micro munition)  or reconnaissance functions. The 10 drones can function as a swarm, coordinated via artificial intelligence to adapt to changing battled conditions.

DarkCyber is a video news program published twice each month. The videos are available on YouTube. The video news program covers the Dark Web, cyber crime, and lesser known Internet services. The producer is Stephen E Arnold, publisher of Beyond Search which is available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress.

Kenny Toth, March 23, 2021

DarkCyber for February 9, 2021, Now Available

February 9, 2021

DarkCyber is a twice-a-month video news program about the Dark Web, cyber crime, and lesser known online services. The program is produced by Stephen E Arnold. You can view the program on the Beyond Search blog or on YouTube at this link.

This week’s program features a discussion of Microsoft’s explanation of the SolarWinds’ misstep. The online explanation is a combination of forensic information with an old-fashioned, almost Balmer-esque marketing pitch. Plus, DarkCyber responds to a viewer who wanted more information about locating bad actor hackers promoting their criminal capabilities on the Dark Web. The program highlights two Dark Web services and provides information to two online resources which offer additional information. Three other stories round out the February 9, 2021, program. Allegedly some of the software stolen in the SolarWinds’ misstep (a data breach which compromised more than 18,000 companies and government organizations) is available for sale. Information about the cost of the software and how to buy are provided. Next you learn about the app tracking technology which is creating friction between Apple and Facebook. Who benefits from tracking users’ actions hundreds of times each day? DarkCyber answers this question. The final story is another signature drone news item. If you think that one drone poses a challenge, consider the difficulty of dealing with thousands of miniature weaponized drones converging on a unit or disrupting warfighting tactics under live fire.

Kenny Toth, February 9, 2021

DarkCyber for January 26, 2021, Now Available

January 26, 2021

DarkCyber is a twice-a-month video news program. The stories cover cyber crime, lesser known Internet services, and online. The feature in the January 26, 2021, program is a conversation between Ric Manning, a former Gannett technology columnist and author, and Stephen E Arnold, author of CyberOSINT: Next Generation Information Access. Arnold and Manning talk about the online implications of deplatforming users. Manning points out that protections extended to online platforms free the managers from the constraints in which other media are enmeshed. Arnold points out that government involvement is likely to take place and have significant unforeseen consequences.

Others stories in this program are the deanonymization of digital currency users, a book of algorithms selected for their usefulness in intelligence analysis, and our mini-feature about drones. This week, learn about the flying ginsu knife.

You can view the video at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress or at this url on YouTube.

Kenny Toth, January 26, 2021

Tactical AI: Research for the 21st Century

October 23, 2020

The company is Tactical Analysis Intelligence. The acronym is Tactical AI. The url is tactical-ai.com. Clever. Indexing systems will glom on the “ai” and the name suggests advanced technologies. The company’s business is, according to its Web site:

a premier boutique information search provider of numerous public and non-public internet sources. Our proprietary deep search system and monitoring service has a proven track record of providing businesses with the data they need to make informed, critical business decisions.

The company performs “deep Web search.” The idea is that when you search via Bing, Google, or Swisscow, you are doing shallow search. The company also delivers Dark Web breach monitoring. The idea is that the increasingly small Dark Web requires specialized skills.

I learned about this company via a link to its “white paper” or article called “Going Undercover for Your Company on the Dark Web? Read This First.” The article provides some information which leads some readers to the conclusion that Dark Web research requires an expert. That’s where Tactical Analysis Intelligence enters. The company’s article by the same name is a link to a Department of Justice document. That’s okay, just a surprise.

After scanning the company’s Web site, some librarians before the Great Disintermediation decimated their ranks should have had Tactical’s marketing know how.

Keep in mind that:

  • Forums, discussion groups, and digital watering holes are no longer confined to the Dark Web
  • The “regular” Web houses a surprising amount of information, including facts about companies which do classified work and do their level best to remain invisible; for example, ATA in Albuquerque, NM.
  • Chat tools like WhatsApp, Telegram, and others have become alternatives now that the Dark Web is getting tinier.

What services provide access to threat intelligence from these sources? That’s a good question.

The experts in cyber open source intelligence might be able to help. Is it possible the author of CyberOSINT could offer some guidance? No, doubtful.

Stephen E Arnold, October 23, 2020

Avaaz Facebook Report: Another Road Map for Bad Actors?

October 14, 2020

DarkCyber is intrigued by research reports which try to alert the public to an issue. Often the reports provide a road map for bad actors who are looking for a new method or angle to practice their dark arts. “Facebook’s Algorithm: A Major Threat to Public Health” may be a recent example of doing right going wrong.

Avaaz is, according to the organization’s Web site:

a global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere.

A 33-page study, published in late August 2020, is available without charge at this link. The publication covers health misinformation through the lens of Facebook’s apparently flawed content curation mechanisms.

For bad actors (real or would be), the document explains:

  • The relationship between Web pages with “disinformation” and Facebook sites
  • The amplification function of content generators
  • Utility of a message output in multiple languages
  • The role of backlinks
  • A list of “gaps in Facebook’s” content curation method.

Interesting report and one which may help some individuals operate more effectively. Facebook’s content curation has some flaws. The company flagged a photograph of onions as salacious. No, really.

Stephen E Arnold, October 14, 2020

DarkCyber for September 22, 2020, Now Available: Bogus Passports, Chinese Data and Apps, and the Dronut Drone

September 22, 2020

DarkCyber for September 22, 2020, is now available. This week’s program features an update on falsified documents, three stories about China, and a report about the Dronut. You can view the video on YouTube. The video is available via the Beyond Search blog.

Kenny Toth, September 22, 2020


DarkCyber for May 26, 2020 Now Available

May 26, 2020

DarkCyber for May 26, 2020, is an online video program focusing on cyber crime, intelligence, and lesser known Internet services. This week’s stories include NSO Group in the PR spotlight, Covid 19 phishing, Germany limits intel services scope of action, a source for bad actor hackers, ETSI.org as a job hunter’s game preserve, and four new drones for surveillance and kinetic action. (Kinetic means explosive munitions.)

The program is a production of Stephen E Arnold and the DarkCyber research team.

In addition to our news programs, we have begun adding special videos. You can view the most recent interview segments with a CIA professional is DarkCyber Exclusive: Litigation Likely for Short Selling.

More special video features are in the works. Remember. DarkCyber contains no demeaning “begging for dollars” pleas, no content marketing, and no subscription fees. As a result, DarkCyber videos and blog posts deliver information that may be difficult to locate and analysis that can cause consternation.

This week’s program is at https://vimeo.com/422426350.

Kenny Toth, May 26, 2020

DarkCyber for May 12, 2020: Web Tracking, Free Malware Appliance, Banjo Trouble, New Drones, and Mobile Location Spoofing

May 12, 2020

DarkCyber for May 12, 2020, is now available. You can view this program on YouTube or Vimeo. This week’s program covers the Banjo founder – KKK connection. SoftBank invested $100 million in the company. There has been a potential feature film project called Banjo Policeware: The Wrath of Khan. Two stories focus on surveillance of persons of interest. The first references allegations that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation uses faked Web pages or seized pages to obtain useful information about actors. Another story describes an open source malware analysis appliance. Unlike commercial solutions which cost thousands of dollars, the Phoenix appliance is available without charge. The appliance, which is a software wrapper around a number of tools, allows analysis and visualization of malware behavior. The program also includes a report about two new drones which can perform surveillance and data collection. The first is an autonomous system developed by AeroVironment. The second is DJI’s drone equipped with a 48 megapixel camera.

We are now producing two DarkCyber videos each month. We plan to release a short “special focus program” between our regular shows. Watch DarkCyber for details about this special report. Topics on the production schedule include the failure of cyber security solutions to protect Work From Home employees and contractors, search engine optimization fraud, and policeware marketing.

DarkCyber is produced by Stephen E Arnold and the DarkCyber research team. Tony S. has rejoined the group after a hiatus due to family responsibilities. Join me in saying, “Yo, Tony, get to work.” He is now our principal researcher for a new project related to the European Community’s investigation of Google search result manipulation. (I know that most people are unaware of this most recent thrust at Google, but it is happening.)

One final but important point: The DarkCyber video programs contain no sponsored content, no advertisements, and no embarrassing “begging for dollars” messages. The approach allows the DarkCyber team to discuss a range of topics, even those which can be uncomfortable for search engine marketers, consultants, and sketchy service providers.

Kenny Toth, May 12, 2020

Content Marketing: The Faux Monte

May 8, 2020

I wrote about the SEO hustle email I received on April 30, 2020. That email became the subject of the conversation I had with the former CIA professional, Robert David Steele. He interviewed me and posted the video from his Web site PhiBetaIota.net. You can view the video at this link. In this post, I want to call attention to the SEO expert’s example blog content, thoughtfully provided by an individual named Christian Arriola and using the alias of a person named Jeffrey Garay. The blog in question is part of a kitchen remodeling business doing work in Pearland near Houston and Allen near Dallas.

The blog post is “How to Get Your Dream Kitchen Remodel Without Breaking the Bank.” Here’s an example of the content which the outfit Woobound wanted to provide to Beyond Search / DarkCyber:

When you have an excellent suggestion of what you desire, take a seat and also write a great breakdown of jobs that you desire finished. You do not need to be technological and also you do not need to make use of building terms yet simply state all the important things you desire a service provider to do and also bid. It can be as easy as: eliminate all existing floor covering and also closets; mount brand-new floor covering, cupboards, kitchen counters, sink as well as home appliances per the strategy; paint; attach sink pipes; as well as mount brand-new lighting fixtures.

It appears that the connection between Beyond Search / DarkCyber is that the root “techno*” appears in the paragraph above and some of Beyond Search / DarkCyber’s more than 18,000 articles. I may be missing other, more sophisticated connections, but on the surface, the idea that kitchen remodeling and the topics in Beyond Search / DarkCyber are tenuously related. Oh, wait, I do cover cyber crime, perhaps that is the hook?

The blog features some broken image links, an 888 number to contact the firm, and a content pool exactly one post deep.

My concern about search engine optimization’s latest “trick” is that some people will accept this “link trade” or “backlink” pitch.

Meaningless links are not helpful to a user. We will be monitoring this ploy because deception is a precursor of cyber crime. Our objective is to take a close look at this faux monte. What we see so far is not appealing; in fact, one of the DarkCyber team used the term

Stephen E Arnold, May 8, 2020

DarkCyber for April 28, 2020: Free Cyber Warfare Book, Spy Insights, the Info Gap Map, and HaaS

April 28, 2020

The April 28, 2020, DarkCyber tackles four stories this week. This week’s program is available via the DarkCyber blog, Vimeo, or YouTube. This week’s stories include information that is otherwise difficult to locate.

You can download a comprehensive look at cyber warfare published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The book covers cyber intelligence and methods of cyber warfare. DarkCyber’s Stephen E Arnold and former CIA spy Robert David Steele discussed misinformation in a one hour interview which is available on the Phi Beta Iota Web site. DarkCyber includes an extract from the discussion about obtaining hyper local data about people, events, and places. The information gap map illustrates how little digital information is available in free Web search systems. The map makes clear that anyone relying on Bing, Google, Yandex, and other free Web search systems is likely to be drowned in misinformation. The program explains how to access a no cost honeypot as a service. HaaS makes it possible to explore malware and learn about exploits in a controlled environment. The link to the service is provided in the program.

Kenny Toth, April 28, 2020


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