DarkCyber for April 16, 2019, Now Available

April 16, 2019

DarkCyber for April 16, 2019, is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://www.vimeo.com/330298628 .

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 LAPD’s review of Palantir Technologies; Australia’s forceful social media crackdown; Russia blocks virtual private networks; and X1 offer social eDiscovery.

This week’s feature continues DarkCyber’s review of the Los Angeles Police Department’s audit of its data-driven policing programs. In the second part of this series we look at the LAPD’s assessment of Palantir Technologies’ platform. The Palantir system provides a platform for integrating and analyzing data for the department’s identification of chronic offenders. The audit revealed that the program provided officers with a useful tool for reducing certain types of crimes. However, the challenge for the department is to provide the Palantir platform with more accurate and consistent data.

Other stories in the DarkCyber video include:

Australia’s crack down on US social media companies continues. In addition to fines, the country proposes mandatory three-year prison terms for offenders. The country, like New Zealand, is a member of the Five Eyes’ intelligence sharing group. Legislation in Australia often provides a model for similar legislation in Canada, Britain, and the United States.

Russia’s government has taken steps to prohibit the use of virtual private networks. This technology makes it more difficult for law enforcement and intelligence professionals to monitor Russian citizens’ communications. More than a half dozen VPN providers have been blocked by Russian Internet Service Providers. Crackdowns on obfuscation technologies is another example of the “Chinafication” of communications and privacy.

Software designed to compromise adults’ and children’s mobile phones is being distributed via the Google Play store. The mechanism Google uses to prevent compromised software or malware from being available on its electronic store for Android users has allowed thousands of individuals to install these programs. One government is alleged to have used the Google Play Store as a way to gain access to personal contacts and confidential information.

X1, a vendor of keyword search and retrieval, has introduced a version of its software tailored to social media eDiscovery. Founded in 2003, X1 allows a lawyer or investigator to search for people, places, events, and other content across a collection of open source data provided by X1 for a starting fee of $2,000. The eDiscovery product joins a growing list of investigative tools, including the personal investigative tool Hunchly which starts at $129 per year.

Kenny Toth, April 16, 2019

DarkCyber for April 9, 2019, Now Available

April 9, 2019

DarkCyber for April 9, 2019, is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/328921981

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: Predictive Policing at the LAPD; How to spoof PDF signatures; How teens can hold secret chat sessions in front of parents and teachers; Tips for creating a credible online persona; and phishing lures that work.

This week’s feature examines the Los Angeles Police Department’s audit of its data-driven policing programs. In what will be a three part series about this report about advanced law enforcement technology, DarkCyber examines the evaluation of Predictive Policing’s system. This software analyzes data from field interviews and automated systems and produces maps of hot spots. Those with access to the system can plan patrol routes or take other preventive actions. DarkCyber explains the basics of the system and the challenges PredPol and similar systems face in a dynamic law enforcement environment. Sophisticated data analysis requires accurate, consistent data to generate high-value outputs.

The “cybershots” in this week’s program cover these four topics:

  • Digitally-signed Adobe Portable Document Formats are presumed to be authentic. DarkCyber explains that a student in Europe has found ways to compromise the security of these widely-used files.
  • Google Docs, used by middle school and high school students, can conduct chats within school work online. Teachers and parents may monitor this activity and be unaware that the school software makes it possible for users to exchange messages, set up drug deals, and disseminate the location of parties in a way that neither teachers nor parents are monitoring. The system allows these chat messages to be deleted with a single mouse click. DarkCyber explains how.
  • Predators and con artists create false personas or online identities. What is needed to craft a credible online identity. DarkCyber reveals the methods used by bad actors outside the US.
  • What are the five best subject lines to use in an email intended to steal a user’s password or other information? DarkCyber reveals the top five phishing lures. The research, conducted by Barracuda networks, was performed by analyzing 300,000 phishing emails.

A new blog Dark Cyber Annex is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress. Cybercrime, Dark Web, and company profiles are now appearing on a daily basis.

Kenny Toth, April 9, 2019

Deep Video Fakes: Getting Easier and Better, Much Better

April 4, 2019

You may have seen one of the news stories explaining that unwanted artifacts can be removed from video. The magic is one of the features of Adobe After Effects, an application which requires some effort to learn. “Adobe Creative Cloud Updates – New Features for Video Post Production” stated:

[A] new feature for Adobe After Effects is the Content-Aware Fill. It enables users to automatically remove unwanted objects from the footage. Content-Aware Fill for video is powered by Adobe Sensei and it was first introduced in Photoshop. It automates the process of removing visual elements like boom mics, signs, logos and even people from footage, which should save hours of manual work.

Zap. Reality or lousy video footage “fixed.”

You can get a rundown of other tools which can help out, improve, or alter reality in “Top 5 AI-Powered Video Editing Tools.”

Will non US propaganda agencies find these tools useful?

Yep.

Stephen E Arnold, April 4, 2019

DarkCyber for April 2, 2019, Now Available

April 2, 2019

DarkCyber for April 2, 2019, is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://www.vimeo.com/327544822.

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: Online censorship increases; Dark Web drug czar goes offline; Dark Web tech comes to the Firefox browser; and more evidence of change in the Dark Web; plus a look at Megaputer’s fraud detection technology.

This week’s feature reviews Megaputer’s fraud detection technology. The firm uses a number of advanced mathematical and linguistic methods to make sense of large flows of data. Based in Bloomington, Indiana, the company serves a wide range of clients from finance, government, pharmaceuticals, and consulting services. The firm was the first to put advanced text analytics on the desktop at a time when other firms required Unix workstations and client server computing resources. The firm’s PolyAnalyst H makes it possible to process large volumes of data at extremely high speed.

This week’s “Cybershots” cover four subjects:

There are more indications that online censorship is becoming more aggressive. Russia has implemented regulations governing what sites can be accessed and what type of content is permissible. Germany’s statement legislators have begun work on a bill to criminalize use of Tor and other hidden Internet tools.

The individual who created RAMP or the Russian Anonymous Marketplace asserted that his customized encrypted chat client was one reason his site had eluded government authorities. The site is now offline.

Letterboxing, a technology which prevents certain types of online tracking, will be introduced in an upcoming release of Firefox, a popular Web browser. This feature has been part of the Tor browser since 2016 and is one more indication of Dark Web technology seeping into the public Internet or “Clear Net”.

The program explains how to get a summary of software and tools to access hidden Internet sites and service. Written by Veracode, a cyber security firm, the video provides information necessary to obtain a copy of this useful report.

A new blog Dark Cyber Annex is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress. Cybercrime, Dark Web, and company profiles are now appearing on a daily basis.

Kenny Toth, April 2, 2019

DarkCyber for March 26, 2019, Now Available

March 26, 2019

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: A call to block Tor in the European Union; Mimikatz, a key hacking tool; and SSL/TLS exploits; a look at IntSights’ marketing of its intelligence software and services; and a Bitcoin poster boy captured in Australia.

This week’s feature reviews IntSights, a cyber intelligence firm which has experienced rapid growth. Most firms providing services to law enforcement and intelligence agencies maintain a low profile. IntSights has published a sponsored book and promoted Digital Risk Protection for Dummies written by a former Forrester consultant. The company also released some financial information, which is a departure from the less open approach taken by other companies in this low profile niche.

The second major story concerns the founder of Auscoin, an Australian digital currency. The Australian Federal Police arrested an advocate of Bitcoin for dealing in controlled substances and operating a drug syndicate. The AFP seized about 60 pounds of cocaine, MDMA, and methamphetamines and the alleged wrongdoer’s bright green Lamborghini. Now faced with 14 charges related to controlled substances, the association of criminal activity and digital currency is difficult to ignore.

The “Cybershots” for this week include:

1. Wolfgang Sobotka’s call for blocking access to Tor (The Onion Router) within the European Union. Tor facilitates access to hidden Web sites, some of which facilitate the sale of drugs and other contraband. Tor may be criminalized after Sobotka’s presentation at the February 2019 European Police Congress.

2. The Mimikatz hacking tool is widely used by hackers around the world. DarkCyber describes this free software and explains where it can be obtained.

3. As cyber security becomes more effective, wrongdoers are seeking new ways to compromise systems. One active approach is to compromise SSL and TLS functions. DarkCyber provides information about obtaining a new, free report about this method of attack written by researchers at Georgia State University and the University of Surrey.

A new blog Dark Cyber Annex is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress. Cybercrime, Dark Web, and company profiles are now appearing on a daily basis.

Kenny Toth, March 26, 2019

DarkCyber for March 19, 2019, Now Available

March 19, 2019

DarkCyber for March 19,2019, is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://www.vimeo.com/324801049.

The program is a production of Stephen E Arnold. It is the only weekly video news shows focusing on the Dark Web, cyber crime, and lesser known Internet services.

This week’s story line up includes: Google search blockchain data; emojis puzzle lawyers; NATO soldiers fooled by social media come ons; big paydays for hackers; Dark Web search for marketers; and Iran’s hacker army

This week’s feature looks at the Beacon Dark Web search system. Developed by Echosec Systems in Canada, Beacon provides search and analytics for those interested in tracking brands, companies, and people in Dark Web content. The system’s developers enforce a code of behavior on licensees. If Echosec determines that a user violates its guidelines, access to Beacon will be cut off. Echosec offers a number of powerful features, including geofencing. With this function it is possible to locate images of military facilities and other locations.

The second feature in this week’s video focuses on Iran’s cyber warfare activities. One key individual—Behrooz Kamalian—has been maintaining a lower profile. Those whom he has trained have been suspected of participating in online gambling activities. Kamalian himself, despite his connections with the Iranian government, served a short stint in prison for this allegation. Iran has one of the large cyber warfare forces in the world, ranking fourth behind Russia, China, and the US.

The “Cybershots” for this week include:

  • Google has made available a search engine for blockchain data. Those skilled in blockchain and digital currency transactions may be able to deanonymize certain aspects of a transaction.
  • Emojis which carry meaning are creating issues for lawyers and eDiscovery systems. The colorful icons’ meaning are not easily understood.
  • A social media test for NATO soldiers’ resistance to online tricks was completed by central command. The result was that soldiers can be easily tricked into revealing secret information.
  • Organize hidden Web criminals are paying up to $1 million a year in salary and providing benefits to hackers.

A new blog Dark Cyber Annex is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress. Cyber crime, Dark Web, and company profiles are now appearing on a daily basis.\

Kenny Toth, March 19, 2019

DarkCyber for March 12, 2019, Now Available

March 12, 2019

DarkCyber for March 12, 2019, is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://www.vimeo.com/322579803 ,

The program is a production of Stephen E Arnold. It is the only weekly video news shows focusing on the Dark Web, cyber crime, and lesser known Internet services.

This week’s story line up includes: Cellebrite devices for sale on eBay; emojis can activate app functions; and sources selling bulk personal data.

The feature this week discusses speech analysis. Reports have surfaced which reveal that some US correctional facilities are building databases of inmates’ voice prints. The news appeared coincident with rumors that the US National Security Agency was curtailing its voice collection activities. Companies like Securus Technologies provide tools and services related to prison telephone and unauthorized mobile device use. The Securus Investigator Pro has been available and in use for almost a decade. Voice print technology which is analogous to a digital fingerprint system makes it possible to identify those on a call. Inclusion of behavioral tags promises to make voice print systems more useful. With a tag for the caller’s emotional state, investigators can perform cross correlation and other analytic functions to obtain useful information related to a person of interest.

Links are provided to explanations of Amazon’s policeware system which can be used to perform these types of analytic operations.
The final story provides a snapshot of a 100 page field manual about online deception. Published by the US Army, this document is a comprehensive review of systems and methods for military use of deception in an online environment. Checklists and procedural diagrams make clear why social media operations are successful in civilian and military contexts. The DarkCyber video includes a link so viewers can download this unclassified publication.

Kenny Toth, March 12, 2019

Amazon Policeware Links

March 5, 2019

DarkCyber received a request for the four short Amazon policeware videos we created in late 2018. Here are the links:

October 30, 2018 https://vimeo.com/297839909

November 6, 2018 https://vimeo.com/298831585

November 13, 2018 https://vimeo.com/300178710

November 20, 2018 https://vimeo.com/301440474.

Kenny Toth, March 5, 2019

DarkCyber for March 5, 2019, Now Available

March 5, 2019

Cyber for March 5, 2019, is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://www.vimeo.com/321045698 .

The program is a production of Stephen E Arnold. It is the only weekly video news shows focusing on the Dark Web and lesser known Internet services.

This week’s story line-up includes: A new feature called Cybershots with information about authentic AI, Psy-Group, Microsoft malware, and VKontakte; our feature Facebook as a digital problem; and illegal video streaming.

DarkCyber’s feature reviews the UK government’s report which states that Facebook acted as a “digital gangster.” DarkCyber provides a link from which the document can be downloaded. Among the conclusions set forth in the report were re mediating actions which range from increased regulation of social media firms to fines for their behavior. The report included information that suggests that other countries will take enforcement and regulatory action directed at Facebook. Among the countries identified were Brazil and Singapore.

The second principal story focuses on illegal streaming video services. Google has blocked some of these services and legal actions are underway. Nevertheless, streaming video continues to thrive with thousands of first run movies and major US television programs available. Some of the services are operated from Russia or other Eastern European countries. These services make use of sophisticated content delivery services and rely on technology which allows the criminals to spin up a new service when authorities close one in operation. Services available from some illegal streaming services offer Netflix-like interfaces, sell advertising, and charge subscription fees. Legal hurdles and the cost of pursuing enforcement action in some countries increases the difficulty copyright holders face in closing these services.

This week, DarkCyber introduces a new feature called Cybershots. The items in this section of the video news program reveal that one of the companies associated with weaponized social media has gone out of business. Microsoft has unwittingly allowed malware to be distributed from its online store. A company providing policeware has found that one of its marketing phrases has been picked up by a Chinese company and used as the firm’s name. Plus, a customer of the Russian social media service VKontakte received an unusual Valentine greeting, a cyber attack from a disgruntled customer.

Kenny Toth, March 5, 2019

DarkCyber for February 26, 2019, Now Available

February 26, 2019

DarkCyber for February 26,2019, is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://www.vimeo.com/77362226.

The program is a production of Stephen E Arnold. It is the only weekly video news shows focusing on the Dark Web and lesser known Internet services.

This week’s story line up includes: a nano drone for US Army operators; lonely heart cyber cons; a major denial of service takedown; and a snapshot of Cyberheist, a deep dive into financial cyber crime.

The first story explores FLIR’s Black Hornet nano drones. These devices are the size of one half sheet of paper and weigh as much as a single slice of bread. US Army operators will use the devices to see around corners and look over the next ridge. Each drone can transmit high definition video and still images and remain aloft for 30 minutes. The operator can fly the nearly invisible drones from a handheld mobile phone sized controller. The nano drones will be used by military forces in France as well as by US military personnel.

The second story explains how romance cons have become a growth business for cyber criminals. The method exploits online dating or “hook up” sites. Individuals seek females over the age of 50, build trust via online communications, and then use that relationship to obtain cash or financial information. Losses average, according to the UK authorities, about $10,000 per successful con. Victims are often reluctant to go to the authorities because they are embarrassed about their behavior.

The third story provides information about the recent takedown of individuals responsible for more than 200,000 denial of service attacks. One of the individuals arrested began his business based on making it easy to knock a Web site offline when he was 17. The method used flooded a Web site or service with a large number of requests. If the targeted service was not correctly configured, the DDOS attack would cause the Web site or service to become unresponsive.

The final story provides a summary of a free book called “Cyberheist.” The 260 document provides a wealth of information about the mechanisms used for stealing bank account information, credit card data, and other personal financial information. The volume reviews numerous types of online methods for deceiving an individual into providing information or for allowing the attacker to install malware on the target’s computing device. DarkCyber provides information about how to download this useful volume without charge.

Kenny Toth, February 26, 2019

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