DarkCyber for January 12, 2021, Now Available

January 12, 2021

DarkCyber is a twice-a-month video news program about online, the Dark Web, and cyber crime. You can view the video on Beyond Search or at this YouTube link.

The program for January 12, 2021, includes a featured interview with Mark Massop, DataWalk’s vice president. DataWalk develops investigative software which leapfrogs such solutions as IBM’s i2 Analyst Notebook and Palantir Gotham. In the interview, Mr. Massop explains how DataWalk delivers analytic reports with two or three mouse clicks, federates or brings together information from multiple sources, and slashes training time from months to several days.

Other stories include DarkCyber’s report about the trickles of information about the SolarWinds’ “misstep.” US Federal agencies, large companies, and a wide range of other entities were compromised. DarkCyber points out that Microsoft’s revelation that bad actors were able to view the company’s source code underscores the ineffectiveness of existing cyber security solutions.

DarkCyber highlights remarkable advances in smart software’s ability to create highly accurate images from poor imagery. The focus of DarkCyber’s report is not on what AI can do to create faked images. DarkCyber provides information about how and where to determine if a fake image is indeed “real.”

The final story makes clear that flying drones can be an expensive hobby. One audacious drone pilot flew in restricted air zones in Philadelphia and posted the exploits on a social media platform. And the cost of this illegal activity. Not too much. Just $182,000. The good news is that the individual appears to have avoided one of the comfortable prisons available to authorities.

One quick point: DarkCyber accepts zero advertising and no sponsored content. Some have tried, but begging for dollars and getting involved in the questionable business of sponsored content is not for the DarkCyber team.

Finally, this program begins our third series of shows. We have removed DarkCyber from Vimeo because that company insisted that DarkCyber was a commercial enterprise. Stephen E Arnold retired in 2017, and he is now 77 years old and not too keen to rejoin the GenX and Millennials in endless Zoom meetings and what he calls “blatant MBA craziness.” (At least that’s what he told me.)

Kenny Toth, January 12, 2021

Advertising on the Dark Web with Quo

January 1, 2021

Quo, a Dark Web search engine has appeared. According to “Cybercriminals Have Started Indexing the Dark Web”:

QUO is “a dark web, full-text search engine designed to create a continuously updated index of onion pages” in order to provide its users with a way to “explore the dark web quickly and anonymously, without logs, cookies and JavaScript”.

You can locate the service at this link, but keep in mind that Dark Web search engines come and go. The system was up and running on December 28, 2020, when the research team checked our links. You can run queries for the Dark Web  go to topics like carding, contraband, and crime as a service. Search results look like this:


What’s interesting is that the service indexes “eight million pages from around 20,000 thousand sites including their URLs, titles, metadata, keywords and headings.” With any Dark Web search engine, the question is, “What percentage of these indexed pages are active?”

You can also advertise on the service. Navigate to this link and get the details.

Stephen E Arnold, January 1, 2021

DarkCyber for December 29, 2020, Is Now Available

December 29, 2020

DarkCyber for December 29, 2020, is now available on YouTube at this link or on the Beyond Search blog at this link. This week’s program includes seven stories. These are:

A Chinese consulting firm publishes a report about the low profile companies indexing the Dark Web. The report is about 114 pages long and does not include Chinese companies engaged in this business.

A Dark Web site easily accessible with a standard Internet browser promises something that DarkCyber finds difficult to believe. The Web site contains what are called “always” links to Dark Web sites; that is, those with Dot Onion addresses.

Some pundits have criticized the FBI and Interpol for their alleged failure to take down Jokerstash. This Dark Web site sells access to “live” credit cards and other financial data. Among those suggesting that the two law enforcement organizations are falling short of the mark are four cyber security firms. DarkCyber explains one reason for this alleged failure.

NSO Group, a specialized services company, has been identified as the company providing technology to “operators” surveilling dozens of Al Jazeera journalists. DarkCyber points out that a commercial firm is not in a position to approve or disapprove the use of its technology by the countries which license the Pegasus platform.

Facebook has escalated its dispute with Apple regarding tracking. Now the social media company has alleged that contractors to the French military are using Facebook in Africa via false accounts. What’s interesting is that Russia is allegedly engaged in a disinformation campaign in Africa as well.

The drone news this week contaisn two DJI items. DJI is one of the world’s largest vendors of consumer and commercial drones. The US government has told DJI that it may no longer sell its drones in the US. DJI products remain available in the US. DJI drones have been equipped with flame throwers to destroy wasp nests. The flame throwing drones appear formidable.

DarkCyber is a twice a month video news program reporting on the Dark Web, lesser known Internet services, and cyber crime. The program is produced by Stephen E Arnold and does not accept advertising or sponsorships.

Kenny Toth, December 29, 2020

Blog Assembles Information for Dark Web Adventurers

December 25, 2020

We wish to draw our dear readers’ attention to this resource: the site DeepWebSitesLinks maintains a Dark Web Blog. From ways to access the Dark Web and purchase cryptocurrency to maintaining anonymity while doing so, this roundup supplies a lot of information that could be difficult to find elsewhere. Recent articles include a list of privacy tools, a discussion of VPN services, and several reviews of specific Dark Web marketplaces. The host site’s About Us page reveals:

“My website is completely dedicated to Deep Web(Dark Internet world), Here I shared newly searched deep web sites and tips and tricks like how to access Deep web and others. DeepWebSitesLinks.com first time introduced on 15 Jan 2016, and after a month of Jan, DeepWebSitesLinks.com readers growing very fast day by days. My team regularly improving DeepWebSitesLinks.com Features, Now we are planning to add some extra categories into this site by which we can extend our area globally. Advertise With US: Deep Web Sites Links having only information about Deep Web Links or Tor Links, This Website having more than 10K+ Daily unique hits, and Still growing day to Day. If you want to promote Your Deep Web Sites or any relevant Products or Services. We have some ad places by which you can promote you service and easily can increase your audience very quick. We also promote relevant software and service like(VPN, Darknet Markets, Bitcoin Markets, Drugs Markets, Stores and any other relevant services) by the help of features oriented review type post, If you looking any one type promotion then you can contact Us by the help of bellow given Email.”

A couple observations: the site’s operator(s) appears to conflate Deep Web and Dark Web. That is a common mistake, but one would expect purported experts to know better. They could also use the services of a good copy editor. Or are misspellings, bad punctuation, and random misplaced capitalizations hallmarks of authenticity in the Dark Web community? No matter. Those details aside, we find this blog to be a very interesting source of information.

Cynthia Murrell, December 25, 2020

DarkCyber for December 15, 2020, Now Available

December 15, 2020

The DarkCyber video news program for December 15, 2020, is now available at this link. This week’s program includes:

  • Fact or fiction: Work around iCloud security for an iPad
  • Germany opens backdoor to one encrypted email system
  • The Dark Web and Covid is a thing
  • Smart weapons and surgical strikes: The future of war
  • NSO Group in the spotlight again
  • Current information about beam weapons.

You may also view the program via the embedded player on the Beyond Search Web site at this link. Plus, no begging for dollars and no advertising.

Kenny Toth, December 15, 2020

France: Know Your Anonymous Digital Currency Customers

December 14, 2020

I think this is a fine idea. France has many fine ideas. Do not say PC; say micro ordinature. Do not feed that chicken this; feed that chicken this. Do not confuse the right and left side of the Rhone.

France Declares War on Crypto Anonymity, Cites ‘Terrorism’ in KYC Mandate” explains that the land of more than 200 cheese and a silky method of making friends in England wants crypto currency to be different. You know. Just not anonymous.

The write up states:

All virtual asset service providers must immediately begin checking their customers’ identities, verifying “beneficial owners” and prohibit anonymous crypto accounts, according to the press release from Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. He called the action a necessary step in France’s fight against terrorism. The press release invoked a terrorist cell that apparently financed itself with crypto until its dismantling in September 2019. “We must drain the euro from all terrorist financing channels,” Le Maire declared in a tweet.

Yes, very French.

I must admit, however, that the French posture regarding crypto currency is one that seems okay with me. My research assistants remind me that more than half of anonymous Bitcoin transactions appear to be related to illegal activities.

The Dark Web would not have functioning markets for contraband without the now ubiquitous anonymous digital currency.

My hunch is that France’s announcement is a harbinger of similar actions from other nation states. The more quickly one of the lubricants of a range of illegal activities is linked to actual and verifiable identities certain types of crime will become closer to the long arm of the law.

Stephen E Arnold, December 14, 2020

DarkCyber for December 1, 2020, Now Available

December 1, 2020

DarkCyber reports about Maltrail, an open source cyber tool for detecting malicious traffic. Crime as a Service matures. Now anyone can point-and-click through a ransomware attack. Bad actors helpfully make cyber crime less of a hassle. Insider threats — what DarkCyber calls “the Snowden play” — are becoming more prevalent. Why? A need for money, revenge, or a dose of that old Silicon Valley attitude.

The feature in this episode is a summary of the next-generation in entity recognition from videos and still images. Face recognition is not the most reliable technology in the world; however, researchers from China and Japan have figured out how to match a person’s gait to an individual. Ergo gait recognition. A link to the technical details appears in the program.

The program features a brief extract from a conversation between Robert David Steele, a former CIA professional, and Stephen E Arnold (owner of Dark Cyber). Arnold describes some of the less appreciated reasons why digital information creates new challenges for law enforcement and intelligence professionals. Good news? Not really.

The final story in the program addresses the urgent need for counter unmanned aerial systems by local, county, and statement law enforcement agencies. Individuals are ramming drones into police helicopters. The DarkCyber discussion of this problem includes a link to a series of recommendations promulgated by the British government to address this kinetic use of drones.

DarkCyber is produced by Beyond Search. The video program appears every two weeks. The third season of DarkCyber begins in January 2021. The program is non-commercial, does not accept advertising, and does not beg for dollars. How is this possible? DarkCyber is not sure.

You can view the program at this link.

Kenny Toth, December 1, 2020

DarkCyber for November 3, 2020, Now Available

November 3, 2020

The November 3, 2020, DarkCyber video news program contains five stories. You are able to view the program at this YouTube location. The first is a report about the FinFisher raids conducted by German and other European enforcement officials. FinFisher allegedly produces and sells policeware to government agencies. An alleged failure in following German government procedures contributed to the multi-country action. The second story describes the free services of Social Search. This online service allows a user to obtain information gleaned from a number of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Test queries run by the DarkCyber research team revealed that interesting information can be obtained from this free service. Also referenced is a consumer mobile phone surveillance tool. Used together, the type of insights available from specialized services developers becomes evident. The third story points to a new book by a Harvard professor. The book reveals the origin of the concept of investigative software, what DarkCyber calls policeware. The fourth story provides additional information about the diffusion of digital currencies into the “regular” Web. What was just two years ago a specialized payment mechanism has moved into the mainstream. No Tor or other obfuscation software required. The final story mentions a Chinese innovation. The truck-mounted tube launcher can release a swarm of drones simultaneously. How does one deal with a swarm of drones? DarkCyber answers this question with information about the Drone Bullet. DarkCyber is produced by Stephen E Arnold, publisher of Beyond Search, a free Web log, and the author of Dark Web Notebook and CyberOSINT.

Kenny Toth, November 3, 2020


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

Dark Web Sites Losing Out to Encrypted Chat Apps?

October 14, 2020

With several Dark Web marketplaces falling to either law enforcement successes or to their own administrators’ “exit scams,” it was predicted vendors and buyers of illegal goods would shift to another alternative, one that promises end-to-end encryption. However, Bank Info Security explains “Why Encrypted Chat Apps Aren’t Replacing Darknet Markets.” To be sure, some criminals do use these apps, but they have been running into some disadvantages. Writer Mathew J. Schwartz specifies:

“One is the challenge of finding – or marketing – goods and services being provided via chat apps. Fear about the reliability of legitimate platforms – and of the risk of getting sold out – is another factor. ‘By trusting a legitimate third-party application’s encryption and anonymity policies, threat actors are placing their trust in non-criminals,’ the ‘Photon Research Team’ at digital risk protection firm Digital Shadows tells me. Criminals typically prefer to avoid such situations. … Chat platforms’ smaller scale can also be an unwelcome limitation for criminals because fewer customers means lower profits for sellers or chat-channel administrators. ‘Most instant messaging platforms tend to be smaller in terms of number of participants and also geographically focused or limited by language – limiting the reach,’ Raveed Laeb and Victoria Kivilevich, respectively product manager and threat intelligence analyst at Israeli cyber threat intelligence monitoring firm Kela, tell me. ‘Another limit is that many chat channels focus on one subject – meaning that one channel features drugs, another one offers enrolls and so on. Thus, it lowers potential profits for the channel’s admins,’ they say.”

It is true, legitimate encrypted apps have plenty of incentive to cooperate with the authorities. So why not build an alternative by criminals for criminals? Some have tried that, with networks like BlackBox, Phantom Secure, and EncroChat, all of which were summarily busted by law enforcement. There are likely more out there, but they may suffer the same fate.

In the end, it seems many dark-market vendors are sticking with the marketplaces. It makes sense in our view—we see the two avenues as complements to one another, anyway. Meanwhile, though, certain marketplaces are abandoning some of their traditional sellers: We’re told illegal drugs are being banned at these sites in favor of digitally transmittable products like malware, stolen databases, login credentials, and other cybercrime tools and services. There is the absence of complications caused by physical packages, but these products also exist in a grey area in many jurisdictions. (We note no mention is made of other items of high concern, like child pornography or weapons.) Schwartz supposes admins believe ceasing to market illegal drugs will make their sites smaller targets. Perhaps?

Cynthia Murrell, October 14, 2020

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