Doppelgangers from The Dark Web

Nov 13, 2018

We live in a time where science-fiction has become science-fact and nightmares have become a waking reality to those left vulnerable to cybercrime and identity theft. Data breaches happen too often to keep count. Some occur daily on a small scale, while others, like the ones in 2013 and 2014 that hit Target and Home Depot, left over 170 million consumers vulnerable to identity theft. The data from large scale breaches usually finds its way onto the dark web, sometimes years after an attack.

The dark web earned its name due to the anonymity it provides. Its sites are neither indexed nor able to be found by use of a common web browser. You need to know exactly how to get to your destination, or you are left in the dark (so to speak). This anonymity provides a refuge for blackmarket activity where stolen identities may be purchased at an estimate of $60-$80 per identity.

The reality is that, more likely than not, your identity has already been stolen. However, all is not lost; government agencies and businesses are building strong analytic models and fraud detection methods to keep your stolen data from being used. In response to this growing threat, action is being taken by Washington with the issuance of three Executive Orders aimed to enhance, improve, and strengthen the cybersecurity of federal networks and critical infrastructure.These Executive Orders seek to:

  1. Allow agencies to partner with other organizations to improve their cybercrime investigations
  2. Develop a voluntary, risk-based cybersecurity framework
  3. Increase support for growth and sustainment of a workforce skilled in cybersecurity and related fields

These orders are good news for law enforcement agencies who are now able to leverage these directives to develop partnerships with analytic firms to improve their cybercrime investigations. The law enforcement agencies who have already developed these partnerships are able to better identify cybercrime, protect the people, respond to threats, and recover loss. With increased efforts by government agencies and a growing urgency to protect consumer information, the use of the dark web for acquiring stolen identities could be a thing of the past.