DarkCyber for February 20, 2018, Now Available

February 20, 2018

The February 20, 2018, DarkCyber walks through the method for de-anonymizing Bitcoin transactions. The paper, written by researchers at Qatar University, highlights information leakage in the Bitcoin blockchain implementation. The video news program is available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/256283081 .

A Dark Web customer used multiple identities to purchase Class A controlled substances via the Dark Web. Investigators were able to trace one of the bad actor’s false identities to specific personal details and arrest the individual. Aliases combined with use of the Tor browser are vulnerable to the investigative methods used by British cybercrime investigators.

LmnTrix, an Australian cyber security firm, discovered a new ransomware service called GAndCrab. What makes the service unique is that the developers impose a terms of service agreement upon individuals wishing to extort money. One example of the deal is that clients of the ransomware software developer must agree to use the software outside of Russia and other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States or have their license for the ransomware revoked. MBA thinking now informs black hat hackers.

You can view the video at this link.

Kenny Toth, February 20, 2018

Winter Olympics Opening: Was It a Demo?

February 11, 2018

I love digital technology. I even have a computer with video editing software. It seems that other folks follow my lead. Many are younger than I. I know this because the opening ceremony drone extravaganza was a demo.

I read “Drones Grounded at Opening Ceremony — But Not on Tape Delay.” I assume the write up is accurate, although even “real” news outfits have issues with “fake news.”

The line between reality and post production seems blurry. Does it matter? Not to advertisers as long as they get eyeballs. And Intel? Well, at least the post production drone show works unlike some of the firm’s technology.

Stephen E Arnold, February 11, 2018

Searching Video and Audio Files is Now Easier Than Ever

February 7, 2018

While text-based search has been honed to near perfection in recent years, video and audio search still lags. However, a few companies are really beginning to chip away at this problem. One that recently caught our attention was VidDistill, a company that distills YouTube videos into an indexed list.

According to their website:

vidDistill first gets the video and captions from YouTube based off of the URL the user enters. The caption text is annotated with the time in the video the text corresponds to. If manually provided captions are available, vidDistill uses those captions. If manually provided captions are not available, vidDistill tries to fall back on automatically generated captions. If no captioning of any sort is available, then vidDistill will not work.


Once vidDistill has the punctuated text, it uses a text summarization algorithm to identify the most important sentences of the entire transcript of the video. The text summarization algorithm compresses the text as much as the user specifies.

It was interesting and did what they claimed, however, we wish you could search for words and have it brought up in the index so users could skip directly to specific parts of a video. This technology has been done in audio, quite well. A service called Happy Scribe, which is aimed at journalists transcribing audio notes, takes an audio file and (for a small fee) transcribes it to text, which can then be searched. It’s pretty elegant and fairly accurate, depending on the audio quality. We could see VidDistill using this mentality to great success.

Patrick Roland, February 7, 2018

DarkCyber for February 6, 2018, Now Available

February 6, 2018

The Beyond Search DarkCyber video program for January 6, 2018, is now available. You can view the program on YouTube or on Vimeo. This week’s program reveals that the go-to system for purchasing military-grade weapons is Telegram, the messaging app. Lebanon’s surveillance program has been exposed. After years of covert operation, human error allowed researchers to characterize the operation. White hat and black hat techniques were used by the Middle Eastern country. Haven, a software app attributed to Edward Snowden, promises protection from third-party access to a mobile phone. Dark Cyber tested the app and found that it could transmit data back to the app’s creator. The program also reviews some of the investigative techniques used to locate the operator of a Dark Web pornography site. In addition to analysis of Dark Web traffic, investigators matched behavioral to Surface Web sources and examined linguistic behaviors to track down users. You can view the video from the Beyond Search main page at this link.

Kenny Toth, February 6, 2018

DarkCyber for January 23, 2018, Now Available

January 23, 2018

The January 23, 2018, DarkCyber program about the Dark Web and related online issues is now available. The program can be viewed at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at this link:  https://vimeo.com/251980239.

The program address four important news stories related to law enforcement and intelligence work.

A new Dark Web search systems called Candle wants to provide easy, quick access to Dark Web content. The DarkCyber’s research team found that the system was easy to use. However, specific searches often return no results. This week’s program suggests an work around.

Mobile phones can be fingerprinted. Take a picture with a mobile phone, and researchers have discovered that manufacturing defects in sensors make it possible to tie a specific mobile phone to a particular digital image. Although in the research and development stage, the data suggest a new tool for law enforcement when gathering evidence in human trafficking and pornography cases.

The need for anonymous communication is fueling an open source project called Soprani.ca. The idea is that an alternative network will allow untraceable messaging and calling. The challenge of these leapfrog innovations is that established lawful intercept companies may have to develop new systems and methods. The giant Shoghi Communications reveals that its system can struggle when trying to make sense of encrypted communications, including https packets.

Bitcoin is running into regulatory headwinds. The news about China’s actions has overshadowed an equally important development in Australia. DarkCyber explains why Australia’s actions are important.

You can view the program at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress.

Kenny Toth, January 23, 2018

DarkCyber, January 16, 2018, Now Available

January 16, 2018

This week’s DarkCyber examines the Experian Dark Web alerting service. Based on an examination of the Digital Shadows’ Web site, that company is working with Experian to provide the Experian consumer service. Digital Shadows appears to be moving from its law enforcement and intelligence focus into a broader business to business and consumer market.

The video is available on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/250765019 The video can be accessed via Beyond Search at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress.

The program also takes a different approach to the changes in net neutrality. DarkCyber reports that law enforcement and intelligence agencies may have wider scope for action for certain data collection methods. Companies like FinFisher allow non US customers a way to gather information using higher levels of network access.

Stephen E Arnold, publisher of the Beyond Search blog and producer of HonkinNews DarkCyber, said:

“Outside of the US certain governments are able to use the capabilities of Tier 1 and Tier 2 network providers, aided by specialized software from companies like FinFisher. With a higher level of network access, placing special software on suspected bad actors computing devices is less complicated. Changes in net neutrality in the United States may facilitate a similar capability. In order to deal with the increasingly rapid changes in technology available to bad actors, access to higher level network access can pay significant dividends for law enforcement and intelligence authorities.”

Dark Web eCommerce vendors, Stephen E Arnold reports, are now showing more interest in digital currencies with more robust obfuscation. Monero and Zcash are two currencies gaining momentum in the Dark Web. Investigators’ ability to figure out who is conducting certain digital currency transactions continues to improve.

The final story takes a look at the alleged kidnapping of a British supermodel. The alleged wrongdoer is awaiting trial in Italy, but the publicity about the alleged auctioning of the supermodel as a Dark Web sex slave remains controversial.

Check out the video at this link.

Kenny Toth, January 16, 2018

DarkCyber for January 9, 2018, Now Available

January 9, 2018

The January 9, 2017, DarkCyber video news program is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress. (The video is also available on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/249649665.)

The Dark Cyber program (produced by Stephen E Arnold, Beyond Search, and HonkinNews) for January 9, 2017, explains how Trovicor’s IPF collects and analyzes a range of information. This low-profile company, based in Germany, provides lawful intercept technology to more than 35 countries. The company’s robust system has the capability of monitoring the data flows resulting from the actions of a single individual to the actions of a a much larger group of suspected bad actors. Trovicor sells and licenses its technologies to governments, not commercial enterprises.

The January 9, 2017, video answers a frequently asked question about the Dark Web: “Can a person buy an automatic weapon on a Dark Web contraband site?” The answer is provided by the US Government Accountability Office. The GAO studied more than 70 Dark Web merchants offering weapons. More than 15 percent were outright scams, but other vendors were set up to do business and sell in exchange for digital currencies. There are barriers; for example, delivery. The Dark Cyber video provides details and a link to the GAO report.

Dark Web drug markets thrive despite increased pressure from government authorities in Western Europe, the UK, and elsewhere. The reason is simple economics. The cat-and-mouse game means that when one drug site is taken down by law enforcement, another drug site opens. Dark Cyber reports that online drug buyers seek sources of contraband despite the risks of legal action.

Dark Cyber also explains how Dark Web drug economics encourages bad actors to open contraband Web sites despite law enforcement crackdowns. This week’s program answers the question, “Can a person buy an automatic weapon on the Dark Web?” The research conducted by the US Government Accountability Office provided the answer. The study reported that 15 percent of weapon offers were scams, a surprisingly low number if the data are accurate.

Kenny Toth, January 9, 2018

Dark Cyber, January 2, 2018, Now Available

January 2, 2018

Dark Cyber, a weekly video news program about the Dark Web, is now available. The January 2, 2018, program can be viewed at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/248961405.

Dark Cyber reveals the connection between zero day exploits and Tor de-anonymization. Specialist vendors like Gamma Group Finfisher, the Hacking Team and NSO Group provide technology to law enforcement and intelligence professionals. These software components make it possible to strip away some of the security the Onion Router software bundle implements for Dark Web access. Zerodium, One high profile vendor of these exploits is Zerodium. Dark Cyber reveals the million dollar price tag on new Tor exploits.

Viewers will learn about the new wave of take downs and seizures of Surface Web and Dark Web sites. With more than 20,000 sites affected, would be scofflaws may be visiting Web sites operated by law enforcement agencies in the UK, the Netherlands, and dozens of other countries.

The program reports that Grams and its sister site Helix have been taken offline. Grams provided a “drug” centric Dark Web search service for three years until it went dark  in mid December 2017. Helix offered digital currency laundering and mixing services. These also were shuttered. The Grams Helix technology was offered with an application programming interface or API. The idea was that developers could include Grams and Helix services in third party applications. Dark Cyber reveals that the administrator of these sites and services stepped away from these Dark Web offerings because of the work required to deal with stepped up enforcement and technological change.

Dark Web is a weekly video program distributed via YouTube and Vimeo. The program provides information about the Dark Web and about the tools and technologies used to hide, obfuscate, and encrypt a wide range of online activities, products, and services.

You can view the video at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress.

Kenny Toth, January 2, 2018

Dark Cyber Now on Vimeo

December 27, 2017

The Dark Cyber video for December 26, 2017, is now available on Vimeo. Dark Cyber is a new series of videos from Stephen E Arnold’s Beyond Search HonkinNews Productions. You can view the Vimeo program at https://vimeo.com/248450035.

Stephen E Arnold, December 27, 2017

Dark Cyber: December 26, 2017, Program Available

December 26, 2017

The Dark Cyber team has released the December 26, 2017, program. You can access the news show via YouTube at this link. The program is also available via Vimeo at this link. The program includes these stories:

  • Information about Blackdot Solutions’ social media and analytics technology. What makes this important is that Blackdot has extended Relativity’s eDiscovery platform so that other types of data can be integrated with the Relativity system. The pay off is a more robust investigative and legal discovery capability.
  • The useful functionality of a new Dark Web search system named Ichidan. With this free tool, an analyst can probe specific ONION urls in order to obtain clues about possible Dark Web server vulnerabilities.
  • How to locate up to the date information about the location of Dark Web sites engaged in questionable eCommerce activities. With the failure of some Dark Web search services to update in a timely manner, finding pointers can be difficult. Dark Cyber reveals that there are three ways to track down the site one wishes to investigate.

In January 2018, Dark Cyber introduces a new look and adds news features. Special programs featuring interviews with individuals with specific expertise related to Dark Cyber activities will be released. Plus, the company profiles will be expanded. The first program for 2018 takes a look at Trovicor, an important intercept and analytics platform which serves the governments of more than 35 countries.

If you have questions or wish to request specific companies for the Dark Cyber team to profile, write us at darkcyber333 at yandex dot com.

Kenny Toth, December 26, 2017

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