Tag Archives: The Dark Web

Echosec launches security-focused anonymous search tool for The Dark Web

Online data aggregation and information discovery specialist Echosec has introduced Beacon, a search platform for The Dark Web purpose-designed to help discover threats and prevent future attacks.

Beacon is an intelligence tool that helps security teams and public safety professionals alike to find key information from The Dark Web safely through a regular web browser. Previously, the only way to access The Dark Web was through a TOR browser.

The Dark Web is non-indexed and non-secure, yet searching it is crucial for security and public safety organisations as it’s a veritable hotbed for nefarious activity. Beacon provides end users with a single point of entry into The Dark Web and presents critical information in a structured and consistent way.

Organisation of Dark Web data makes analysis of it more efficient and threat intelligence actionable for law enforcement, security and risk managers.

EchosecBeacon

“Beacon helps teams to quickly identify information that can prepare them for the worse case scenario,” said Michael Raypold, CTO at Echosec. “Through Beacon, end users can identify threats quickly and enable efficient issues management.”

A basic Beacon search can provide intelligence on subjects like drug trafficking, the sale of firearms and hacker data. A UK search conducted on 12 April found 14,849 instances of hacker data using the keyword “UK + hacking,” while “UK + credit card” returned 16,600 and “UK + guns” 2,650 results respectively.

More advanced search functions in Beacon have produced thousands of results for information on the sale of identities, e-mail addresses and other personally identifiable information. One excerpt from a credit card search result on a Dark Web site reads: “Hello all clients ! – I’m a hacker, good seller, best tools, sell online 24h. – I want introduce to you my services and sell fresh cvv (visa/master,amex,dis,bin,dob,fullz..) all country, Dumps track 1&2, Account paypal, SMTP, RDP, VPS, Mailers, do WU transfer and Software Bug Transfer Western Union. – I sell cvv Fresh – Fast and Good price.”

Beacon is commercially available and simple and safe to interact with for users of all backgrounds. However, due to the sensitive nature of The Dark Web, Echosec meets with potential customers to review and approve their case before providing access. Echosec also takes steps to ensure that Beacon use is compliant with the current privacy laws and data provider terms.

*More information about Beacon may be found at https://www.echosec.net/darknet/

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Record number of businesses to benefit from free Manchester Security event

‘Manchester Security: Safe and Secure for Business’ takes place on Wednesday 20 September at St Ann’s Church in Manchester with a record number of businesses set to attend. With more than 250 pre-registrations to date, the event will provide the North West business community with valuable insights into current security issues, offering the latest advice to help better protect them against threats and acts of crime.

The day’s programme includes a formal opening by Assistant Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine and a presentation by Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hitchen (deputy head of intelligence for Counter-Terrorism Policing North West on the ‘Partnership Approach to the Threat from Terrorism in the UK’.

ACC Vanessa Jardine

ACC Vanessa Jardine

Gary Hibberd (managing director of Agenci) is to focus on ‘The Dark Web – A Real Journey into a Virtual World’, while Chief Inspector Gareth Parkin of Greater Manchester Police concentrates on ‘Policing the City’. A representative from SelectaDNA is going to be talking about ‘Using Synthetic DNA to Convict Criminals’.

The event is completely free to attend. Doors open at 8.30 am. Refreshments and breakfast snacks will be provided and the event will conclude at around 11.30 am.

SelectaDNA, Window Security Solutions and Noonan Services Group are sponsoring the event and their crime prevention products will be on display.

‘Manchester Security: Safe and Secure for Business’ is organised by the Manchester City Centre Crime Prevention Panel with the support of Greater Manchester Police, Manchester City Council and Atmaana Business Consulting.

*Limited places are still available at:  https://manchestersecurity2017.eventbrite.co.uk

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Banking fraud rises by 13% as criminals continue to wreak havoc

Crime figures just issued by the Office for National Statistics show that banking and credit fraud has risen by 13% in the year ending June 2016.

John Marsden, head of ID and fraud at Equifax, commented: “Companies have stepped up their fraud protection with multiple layered fraud defences, but this often moves criminal activity to those channels that are less well protected. Fraud is a surprisingly professional industry. The number of cases continues to rise as criminals find new ways to access information, often fuelled by a deep understanding of their target’s identity. Underlying this is the sharing of knowledge and consumers’ personal information across marketplaces on The Dark Web.”

Marsden went on to state: “Consumers must take steps to protect themselves from falling prey to fraudulent behaviour. People are without doubt confused about where to store and share confidential information like their bank account number, sort code and even their date of birth. As consumers seek the convenience and speed offered by digital correspondence, so they potentially position themselves in front of fraudsters who will steal this information to gain access to accounts and financially exploit individuals.”

fraudillustration

According to Marsden, data shared on The Dark Web cannot be treated as a one-time event. The data never truly vanishes and can spread globally in a short amount of time, enabling criminals to fraudulently takeover accounts and identities.

“To reduce the risks and damage associated with fraudulent activity,” observed Marsden, “more needs to be done to educate the public and give them a stronger chance of protecting themselves. The advice is very clear: remain vigilant and only share your details when you’re sure the channel is secure.”

It’s worth bearing in mind the following guidelines when handling personal information:

  1. Do not do your online banking in public places and definitely do not use public Wi-Fi (criminals can set up bogus public Wi-Fi ‘hotspots’ to access devices and information)
  2. Never respond to unprompted banking messages unless you are absolutely certain the request is genuine (ie when you have spoken with your bank to confirm)
  3. Be very aware of domain names online and the security signs visible in a browser. Make sure you log on to a banking website at a web address you know and not via a link
  4. Never provide any banking details to a third party you don’t know or are unsure about (in part or as a whole)
  5. Avoid unnecessarily sharing details such as your name, address and date of birth

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International law enforcement deals major blow to Dark Web markets

Co-ordinated activity by law enforcement bodies in Europe and the US has targeted marketplaces for illegal commodities on The Dark Web – the ‘hidden’ areas of the Internet.

Working with police forces across the UK, the National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested six people on 6 November in strikes co-ordinated with international partners. Those arrested include suspected administrators for the online drug marketplace Silk Road 2.0 and another drug marketplace, as well as significant vendors of illegal drugs through The Dark Web.

Simultaneously, partners from the European Cybercrime Centre – acting on intelligence developed by US counterparts – took out technical infrastructure which is key to the hosting of illegal marketplaces on The Dark Web. In total, over 400 hidden services were taken down.

The six people arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs were a 20-year-old man from Liverpool city centre, a 19-year-old man from New Waltham in Lincolnshire, a 30-year-old man from Cleethorpes, a 29-year-old man from Aberdovey in Wales, a 58-year-old man from Aberdovey, Wales and a 58-year-old woman (again from Aberdovey in Wales). All six were interviewed and have been bailed pending further enquiries.

Silk Road 2.0 seized notice

Silk Road 2.0 seized notice

A large amount of computer equipment was seized at all the addresses searched and will now be forensically examined.

The action taken by the NCA and its partners across Europe and America is part of continuing operations to target the use of online marketplaces to trade in illegal commodities such as Class A drugs, firearms and false documents. Anyone who tries to access Silk Road 2.0 will now see a notice highlighting the site has been seized.

Roy McComb, deputy director of the National Crime Agency, commented: “Over the months since the original Silk Road was taken down, we have been working with partners in the US and Europe to locate technical infrastructure key to The Dark Web and to investigate individuals suspected of significant involvement in illegal online marketplaces. Those arrested by the NCA in this phase of the operation are suspected of setting up Silk Road 2.0, or of being significant vendors of illegal drugs.”

McComb continued: “The operation is ongoing and more arrests can be expected as we continue to investigate those involved in setting up and profiting from these illegal marketplaces. Criminals like to think that The Dark Web provides a safe, anonymous haven but in reality this is just like any other organised crime network. It may take time and effort to investigate and build a criminal case, but we’re determined to identify and prosecute people caught dealing drugs and committing serious crime using The Dark Web.”

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