DarkCyber for June 19, 2018 Now Available

June 19, 2018

DarkCyber for June 19, 2018, is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://www.vimeo.com/275466464

Stephen E Arnold’s DarkCyber is a weekly video news and analysis program about the Dark Web and lesser known Internet services.
This week’s program covers five cybercrime related stories.

The first story profiles Hunch.ly a low cost open source intelligence investigative tool. The system allows an investigator to keep track of sites visited, capture complete Surface Web and Dark Web page, and generate an audit trail. The Hunch.ly system costs less than $130 per year per user.

The second story reviews two Romanian universities accused of harboring a Dark Web drug cartel. More than 600 officers arrested more than 60 individuals. Many of these university students were studying law and medicine.

The third story reveals that Europol has created a dedicated team within in its cyber crime center. A dedicated team will allow investigators to focus on Dark Web crime and not be pulled from a Dark Web investigation to work on an unrelated matter. The dedicated team will work in a cross border environment so that police actions can be more effectively coordinated.

The fourth story explains that Cyberlitica has introduced a new Dark Web scanning service. The DarkCyber report points out that password reuse is common and creates significant security vulnerabilities.

The final story reveals that a 2013 analysis of the Stuxnet virus is again available without charge. The report provides specific operational details of the Stuxnet exploit designed to interrupt nuclear fuel enrichment.

DarkCyber is one of a very small number of weekly video news programs focusing on policeware, the Dark Web, and related topics.

Kenny Toth, July 19, 2018

DarkCyber, June 12, 2018, Now Available

June 12, 2018

DarkCyber for June 12, 2018, is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/274326974 .

Stephen E Arnold’s DarkCyber is a weekly video news and analysis program about the Dark Web and lesser known Internet services.

The first story focuses on torrents. ThePirateBay has long been associated with making it easy to access copyrighted content. With ThePirateBay offline, those in search of free copyrighted content have created a proxy list. The idea is that a bad actor can located copyrighted materials and sidestep paying for access. Although these torrent finder sites come and go, a list is easily available for anyone looking for what ThePirateBay made findable.

Next, Stephen reports that the Dutch police, in cooperation with other nation’s law enforcement agencies, have shuttered MaxiDed. The site, allegedly operated by citizens of Moldova, provided hosting and online services. MaxiDed allowed individuals and organizations wanting to distribute malware, host Dark Web sites, and engage in other online activities a safe harbor. The MaxiDed marketing explained that the service was “bulletproof.” DarkCyber reveals that MaxiDed was not.

The third story continues DarkCyber’s explanation of Amazon’s “policeware” initiative. The Amazon Rekognition service makes it possible for law enforcement to identify individuals in images and video. Unlike some other systems, Amazon’s approach allows real time facial recognition. Also, the system can identify up to 100 individuals in a group photo. This service complements Amazon’s streaming data service revealed in the June 5, 2018, DarkCyber video. Stephen E Arnold said: “Amazon’s push into services which seem tailor made for law enforcement, regulatory entities, and intelligence professionals continues. Its facial recognition service called ”Rekognition“ could revolutionize how authorities identify possible bad actors. The use of Amazon’s cross correlation method could significantly rework the law enforcement landscape in a very short period of time.”

The final story makes the economics of selling synthetic opioids clear. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, a kilogram of fentanyl or an analogue can generate orders of magnitude more money when sold on the street. Also, obtaining bulk quantities of fentanyl analogues is possible. China, for example, does not regulate analogues as closely as it does fentanyl itself.

Kenny Toth, June 12, 2018

DarkCyber, May 29, 2018, Now Available

May 29, 2018

Stephen E Arnold’s DarkCyber video news program for Tuesday, May 29, 2018, is now available.

This week’s story line up is:

  • The “personality” of a good Web hacker
  • Why lists are replacing free Dark Web search services
  • Where to find a directory of OSINT software
  • A new Dark Web index from a commercial vendor.

You can find this week’s program at either www.arnoldit.com/wordpress or on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/272088088.

On June 5, 2018, Stephen will be giving two lectures at the Telestrategies ISS conference in Prague. The audiences will consist of intelligence, law enforcement, and security professionals from Europe. A handful of attendees from other countries will be among the attendees.

On Tuesday, June 5, 2018, Stephen will reveal one finding from our analysis of Amazon’s law enforcement, war fighting, and intelligence services initiative.

Because his books have been reused (in several cases without permission) by other analysts, the information about Amazon is available via online or in person presentations.

The DarkCyber team has prepared short video highlighting one research finding. He will include some of the DarkCyber research information in his Prague lectures.

The Amazon-centric video will be available on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. After viewing the video, if you want the details of his for fee lecture, write him at darkcyber333@yandex dot com. Please, put “Amazon” in the subject line.

Several on the DarkCyber team believe that most people will dismiss Stephen’s analysis of Amazon. The reason is that people buy T shirts, books, and videos from the company. However, the DarkCyber research team has identified facts which suggest a major new revenue play from the one time bookseller.

Just as Stephen’s analyses of Google in 2006 altered how some Wall Street professionals viewed Google, his work on Amazon is equally significant. Remember those rumors about Alexa recording what it “hears”? Now think of Amazon’s services/products as pieces in a mosaic.

The picture is fascinating and it has significant financial implications as well.

Enjoy today’s program at this link.

Kenny Toth, May 29, 2018

DarkCyber for May 22, 2018, Now Available

May 22, 2018

The May 22, 2018 DarkCyber is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/270993972

This week’s story line up includes  … Russia increases the pressure on encrypted services… The end of Webstresser’s denial of service system… Tangem’s “just like paper money” Bitcoin bank notes… and scammers cultivate Orchid Labs with a fake initial coin offering.

Stephen E Arnold’s DarkCyber is a weekly video news and analysis program about the Dark Web and lesser known Internet services.

Russia wants access to messages and online sessions conducted within its borders. The government has now taken steps to outlaw virtual private networks unless special conditions are met. The move to block VPNs follows the country’s blocking of encrypted messaging services. Although VPNs lead data, time and technical resources are required to make sense of the data flowing through a VPN. A ban or tight restrictions will allow authorities to access content and monitor activity more easily. As censorship and clamp downs increase, innovators will try to find ways to circumvent government barriers.

Crime as a service (CaaS) has become a popular way to generate revenue among some bad actors. A vendor doing business as Webstresser has been shut down by government authorities in the UK. The service was allegedly used to prevent certain online sites from serving their users. Among those organization affected by Webstresser’s ability to flood a targeted Web site with bogus traffic were several banks in England. Nevertheless, CaaS vendors continue to make their technology available via the Dark Web and other obfuscated services.

The third story highlights what amount to Bitcoin bank notes. Tangem has created a physical bank note which can be used a currency without having to go online and use a digital wallet. The breakthrough appears to be a low-cost, highly functional chip which is embedded in the physical bank note. Merchants can verify that the account has a positive balance using a mobile phone. The first trial of the Bitcoin bank note will be in Singapore with other locations to be announced in the near future. Stephen E Arnold said, “A physical form of Bitcoin may facilitate easier use of digital currency. Despite the technical innovations incorporated in the Tangem bank note, convenience will come at a price. Bad actors will find physical Bitcoin notes useful in illegal transactions because the anonymity of the transaction and the lack of regulation opens the door to unlawful commerce, money laundering, and purchases of contraband.”

The final story reveals that Orchid Labs, a developer of high-security technology, has been the target of a scam. Bad actors have created a bogus initial coin offering (ICO). However, the digital currency does not benefit Orchid Labs. The funds flow to the bad actors. In May 2018, Orchid Labs wrote individuals on the company’s mailing list in order to explain the same.

A special report about one of the DarkCyber’s most interesting research findings will be released on June 5, 2018.

Kenny Toth, May 22, 2018

DarkCyber for May 15, 2018, Now Available

May 15, 2018

DarkCyber for May 15, 2018, is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/268758291

Stephen E Arnold’s DarkCyber is a weekly video news and analysis program about the Dark Web and lesser known Internet services.

The stories in the May 15, 2018, program are another Dark Web murder-for-hire scam goes wrong, the “Terror in the Dark” report provides information about how bad actors use the hidden Internet, a run-down of manufacturers of cell site simulators, a new map of the Dark Web, and the New Zealand teen ran a drug dealing business from his parents’ home.

Please, note that Stephen will be lecturing the week of June 4, 2018, at the Telestrategies ISS conference. He will produce and release a special report about on of our team’s research findings on June 5, 2018. Due to time zones, the go live date for the program may be different. We will announce schedule shifts in Beyond Search.

Kenny Toth, May 15, 2018

DarkCyber for May 8, 2018, Now Available

May 8, 2018

DarkCyber for May 8, 2018, is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/268247100

Stephen E Arnold’s DarkCyber is a weekly video news and analysis program about the Dark Web and lesser known Internet services.

Terrogence, a business unit of Verint, has developed a specialized image collection and search system. The focus is on identifying bad actors. Images are harvested from a wide range of sources, and the images are indexed. Verint also offers a robust FaceDetect system, which when combined with Verint’s other technologies and engineering capabilities provides a number of high-value functions for investigators. However, China has made significant advances in facial recognition as well. The key point is that real-time facial recognition technology has diffused around the world. No single country or region dominates this technical field. Although consumer applications of facial recognition technology are reducing flight boarding times, facial recognition is an amplifier for law enforcement. What once took days or weeks can now be accomplished in minutes or hours.

Chemistry majors know that fabricating a synthetic opioid, if not particularly complicated, requires time, expertise, and attention to detail. Bulk 4-ANPP can be acquired via transactions on the hidden Internet, shipped to a country (for example, Mexico), and then smuggled into the US. With this intermediate, street grade fentanyl can be manufactured quickly. Due to the small size of some fentanyl doses, drug orders can be sent via traditional package and letter delivery systems. Fentanyl is, ounce for ounce, significantly more profitable for drug dealers to handle.opioid More aggressive and stringent parcel per-screening may be needed to deal with this type of contraband.

Since the ground breaking FBI PlayPen operation, a number of “seize and operate” stings have neutralized some bad actors. A recent operation in Ohio resulted in the arrest of bad actors who had in their possession more than 250,000 child pornography (CP) images and videos. Operation Pacifier was a success, resulting in the identification of 300 individuals, 55 of whom were hands-on child abusers. Despite the success of CP operations in the US and the UK, child sex abuse remains a serious, world-wide problem.

The final story describes an allegedly fool proof way to allow law enforcement to access encrypted messages. DarkCyber reports that the idea of solving two complicated problems is interesting. However, what a human has crafted can be solved by a human. The academic researchers’ proposed method is likely to be less useful than techniques developed by policeware vendors. DarkCyber believes than one large online vendor will be introducing capabilities which may be more useful to law enforcement. The patented method will be profiled in Stephen E Arnold’s “Deanonymizing Digital Currency Transactions at the Telestrategies ISS conference in Prague in June 2018.

Kenny Toth, May 8, 2018

DarkCyber for April 17, 2018, Is Now Available

April 17, 2018

DarkCyber for April 17, 2018, is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/264827844

DarkCyber is a weekly video news and analysis program about the Dark Web and lesser known Internet services.

Push back from different organizations suggests that the unregulated, free wheeling days of digital currencies are winding down. France and Japan have taken action to curtail some digital currency practices. Plus Google and Twitter have banned ads for digital currencies.

In March 2018, Stephen E Arnold, producer of DarkCyber, was named to International Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Human Trafficking & Child Sex Abuse. He points out that as censorship increases, bad actors will step up their pace of innovation.

He said, “An uptick in the use of pastesites and encrypted chat make it increasingly difficult for investigators to identify and take action against those engaged in human trafficking and related crimes. Additional funding and faster cycle procurements of next generation are important priorities in the next six to nine months.”

DarkCyber answers a viewer’s question about the Katim secure mobile phone created by DarkMatter, a cyber security firm in the United Arab Emirates. The Katim device may be a market test or a way to determine interest in secure devices.

VPNs promise increased security for users. DarkCyber points out that a number of VPNs leak user data. Protocol flaws and VPN operators who keep logs of user behaviors make it clear that VPNs may be virtual, just not private.

For more information about DarkCyber, write us at darkcyber333 at yandex.com.

Kenny Toth, April 17, 2018

DarkCyber for April 10, 2018, Is Now Available

April 10, 2018

The DarkCyber video news program for April 10, 2018, is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/263730425. DarkCyber is a weekly video news and analysis program about the Dark Web and lesser known Internet services tailored to security, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals.

The April 10, 2018, program reviews how law enforcement or intelligence entities can use software exploits to gather information from a suspect’s computing device. The procedure, according to Stephen E Arnold, author of CyberOSINT: Next Generation Information Access, supplements traditional methods such as interviews and traditional computer forensics. In DarkCyber, Arnold reviews an approach spelled out by cyber experts at Narus and the University of California—San Diego. The advantage of the Narus approach is that information can be collected which may not require decryption or direct access to a suspect’s computing device.

Also, DarkCyber reports about Turkey’s alleged use of intercept and content injection technology from the Canadian firm Sandvine. Turkish authorities used a surveillance system to gather information about Turkish and Syrian persons of interest. DarkCyber points out that countries like Lebanon, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates are on a path to reach intelligence parity with countries like France, Germany, and the UK for mobile and Internet data surveillance and content interception capabilities.

DarkCyber reviews surprising findings from a Dark Web research report conducted by cyber security firm Armor. The data in the report which caught the attention of the Dark Cyber were compiled from a study of Dark Web sites selling false passport and personal financial information. The  video includes a link to the Armor study which is offered without charge

Arnold reveals electronic mail vendors providing encrypted email services. One of the services — Proton Mail based in Switzerland — allegedly was used by Cambridge Analytica. Proton’s service makes it very difficult if not impossible for law enforcement to retrieve messages within the system or if they have been deleted from the Proton mail servers. Several vendors of secure email are mentioned in the DarkCyber video.

Kenny Toth, April 10, 2018

Video Search: Still a Challenge

April 6, 2018

As MIT Technology Review describes in its article, “The Next Big Step for AI? Understanding Video,” artificial intelligence still tends to have trouble correctly interpreting video. A recent slew of new jobs at YouTube (owned by Google) underscores this flaw—“YouTube is Hiring 10,000 People to Police Offensive Videos,” reports the New York Post. When it comes to objectionable content, algorithms just don’t get it. Yet. Meanwhile, the PR machine keeps running.

MIT Tech editor Will Knight discusses some promising solutions in the above article, beginning close to home with a collaboration between MIT and IBM. He writes:

“MIT and IBM this week released a vast data set of video clips painstakingly annotated with details of the action being carried out. The Moments in Time Dataset includes three-second snippets of everything from fishing to break-dancing. ‘A lot of things in the world change from one second to the next,’ says Aude Oliva, a principal research scientist at MIT and one of the people behind the project. ‘If you want to understand why something is happening, motion gives you lot of information that you cannot capture in a single frame.’” … “The MIT-IBM project is in fact just one of several video data sets designed to spur progress in training machines to understand actions in the physical world. Last year, for example, Google released a set of eight million tagged YouTube videos called YouTube-8M. Facebook is developing an annotated data set of video actions called the Scenes, Actions, and Objects set.”

Knight also mentions Twenty Billion Neurons, which, he notes:

“… Created a custom data set by paying crowdsourced workers to perform simple tasks. One of the company’s cofounders, Roland Memisevic, says it also uses a neural network designed specifically to process temporal vision information.”

So, we should not be surprised if, soon, AI can comprehend what it “sees.” Meanwhile, sites that host video content would do well to employ the judgment of humans.

Cynthia Murrell, April 6, 2018

DarkCyber for March 27, 2018, Now Available

March 27, 2018

DarkCyber for March 27, 2018, is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/261699559.

Stories this week: HyperionGray’s Dark Web map explored, Dark Web service firms shift into high-profile marketing mode, Bitcoin attracts more US government scrutiny, alleged Dark Web specialist Freedom Hosting hacked and its data location, and digital currencies attract more US government scrutiny.

Stephen E Arnold discusses four topics in this week’s Dark Web program.

HyperionGray’s Dark Web map makes it easy to get an overview of the Dark Web. The map, when clicked, displays thumbnails of Dark Web sites. Plus, the map allows the viewer to explore Dark Web sites which share feature and content similarities.

Freedom Hosting, a Dark Web services firm, was hacked before it went offline. DarkCyber reports that one hacker discovered a cache of CP (child pornography) data on the site. The hacker copied Freedom Hosting’s customer data and other information. The hacker then made that data publicly available online.

Dark Web consulting and services has become a significant line of business for some specialized firms. In the last six months, some of these companies have stepped up their marketing efforts. DarkCyber reports that more widely available information about the Dark Web has an upside and a downside. The upside is the likelihood of these companies’ attracting more sales leads. The downside is that bad actors now have an easier time keeping pace with techniques and technologies used by security and law enforcement professionals.

DarkCyber notes that the US government is stepping up its interest in digital currencies. One reason is that initial coin offering are being used by some to raise money for startups and that tax authorities may need a way to ensure that income tax payers are reporting and paying applicable taxes.

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

Kenny Toth, March 27, 2018

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