The internet runs much deeper than most people realize. Every time you log in to your email, check your e-banking or use social media, you are using the Deep Web.
Cybercriminals sell stolen data on the Dark Web, including credentials, passwords, intellectual property and classified documents. Monitoring and investigating the Dark Web via different monitoring and investigation tools enables you to mitigate online threats.
Forensic investigators know that it’s important to use artifacts to uncover a threat’s attack pattern, understand their intentions, and corroborate the evidence. But finding, interpreting and analyzing these artifacts can be challenging, especially when they aren’t sitting out in the open.
SSI offers expert managed cyber security services that can help you find, interpret, and analyze your artifacts to present a reliable conclusion in your investigation. Contact us today to learn more.
In digital forensics, an artifact is a piece of data that enables a digital investigator to determine the sequence of events leading up to or following a cyber threat. These data can include chat message content, email communication, and various attachments. In addition, traditional cellular call logs and contact information are important artifacts to be considered for an investigation.
An artifact evaluation track is new for ICSE 2023, and it aims to review and promote research artifacts submitted by authors of accepted papers. The goal is to encourage reusable and reproducible research. Artifacts can be software systems, scripts, and datasets.
Unlike paper review, where the goal is to validate the paper’s major claims, an artifact evaluation is less adversarial. Evaluators may send messages to authors during an artifact evaluation period, asking for clarifications or pointing out issues that need to be addressed. Ultimately, the objective is to ensure that the artifacts and code submitted by authors meet the requirements for different badges, which are represented as icons in the first column of the table below.
Cryptocurrency is a popular method of payment and investment, but it has also been used for illicit financing, money laundering and other fraud. As such, cryptocurrency scams are on the rise. Recognizing red flags like guaranteed returns, lack of transparency and pressure to act quickly can help protect against investment losses.
The blockchain technology that cryptocurrencies are built upon makes it far easier to trace digital wallets, transactions and their owners than would be possible with traditional bank transfers. In addition, due to the decentralized nature of the blockchain, investigators can often avoid the need for court-authorized search warrants and subpoenas that may be needed in traditional banking investigations.
This is why law enforcement agencies, insolvency practitioners and court-appointed receivers are encountering cryptocurrency assets more frequently in their investigations. By leveraging advanced investigative techniques that span both blockchain forensics tools and digital forensic methodologies, it is now easier than ever to find, identify and recover stolen cryptocurrency assets.
To successfully recover funds, victims must be willing to invest time and effort into assembling the evidence required to prove their case. This includes gathering emails and WhatsApp communications, screenshots of transaction confirmations and other relevant information. Reporting the theft to a cryptocurrency exchange and reaching out to legal professionals who specialize in cryptocurrency recovery can also be beneficial.
Digital Footprint Investigation
When you use the Internet, you leave behind a trail of information called a digital footprint. It includes information that you actively share with others through social media, blogs, and online profiles, as well as data that companies collect passively when you visit websites or interact with apps. This information can reveal a great deal about you – including your age, location, and other personal details.
In the wrong hands, this information can be used to perpetrate fraud and identity theft. But it can also be useful to businesses and researchers – for example, to help them understand customer behavior or identify new opportunities.
A digital footprint investigation examines the information that an individual or business has opted to make public on the Internet, including social media profiles, websites, and forums. It can also include email addresses, financial transaction records and e-commerce purchases. A digital footprint analysis can help businesses prevent fraud by identifying a potential risk before they engage with an individual or company.
A thorough security-focused digital footprint investigation will also explore the dark web for any leaked or unwanted sensitive data exposure, as well as investigate staff members to assess whether they are vulnerable to impersonation or other cyber attack angles. This process can be complex and requires trained investigators.
Data Breach Investigation
When a data breach happens, your organization’s first steps need to be to contain the incident by halting any further information exfiltration and isolating infected systems and accounts. Then you must take action to investigate the breach, determine what went wrong and make recommendations for remediation.
This step involves interviewing anyone who discovered the breach and examining any evidence you have. You need to understand the type of personal information that was exposed and how it might have been used, especially if sensitive or regulated information like financial details, medical records, private home addresses or Social Security numbers were compromised. This step also entails assessing whether the breach is covered by data protection regulations that require specific reporting and mitigation.
A good place to start the investigation is by reviewing the results of Verizon’s 2023 DBIR report, which outlines common methods attackers use for accessing organisations:
This step also includes identifying how the attack started (such as through stolen credentials, phishing or exploitation of vulnerabilities). You need to review if there are any additional ways in which this could have happened and what you can do to prevent it from occurring in future. It may be a case of adjusting policies, changing passwords and updating software or hardware. You must also consider your service providers, who might have been involved in the breach – examine what they can access and whether any personal information is being shared with them.