The Dark Web is home to many underground dealings, illicit trade marketplaces and shady cyber activities, all of which aren’t readily visible to enforcement agencies and the prying eyes of various government bodies.
Under the safety of the Tor browser and some other clever software, people can purchase cyber-attack tools, potent malware and procure some pharmaceutical products, among others.
Where should big and small companies, organizations and businesses turn to in order to protect themselves from the growing multitude of virtual attacks? Believe it or not, the same virtual underground spot, the Dark Web, can serve as an excellent source for threat intelligence.
The Dark Web has built quite a community of cyber criminals who turn to it as a central hub, creating a vast network of economy and accumulated intelligence.
Believe it or not, the Dark Web isn’t just about pornographic contents or drug dealing; those are the dominating commodities largely sold and bought, but there are also some “products” and “services” offered.
Individuals who have the resources can buy hackers who advertise their services along with attached resumes of prior exploits and high profile targets.
There are also online exploits for sale, whether you need one for a general use, or require a more precise exploit (malware specifically made for certain industries, businesses or tech targets).
You may purchase backdoor exploits, hacked accounts, stolen intellectual designs, properties and counterfeit products.
There are “services” that can manage small to large-scale phishing or scam campaigns on popular media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook.
Competitor businesses can acquire Doxxing services or hire a virtual investigator and see if their websites or online properties are being spied upon by same-product businesses.
Information is being sold here as well – news as to who or what company will be hit by a DDoS attack is largely circulated within the Dark Web’s forums.
What does this mean for security firms and their fight against rooting out cyber threats? A lot.
As people are spending more and more time plugged in online, companies try to take advantage of this trend by advertising their services on the web.
Active network attacks and malware computer infections are becoming more and more commonplace, with the internet becoming a battleground of exploits, viruses and hacks in an endless war.
Companies try to make light of this cybersecurity protection by creating their own intelligence agencies – threat intelligence, HUMINT activities, and risk intelligence.
They purchase data, hire cyber investigators and analysts whose job is to seek out any potential threats and to lower their potential cyber risk as much as possible.
The problem is that not all companies can afford to pay such a high price of maintaining this kind of protection all year round.
Plus, there are some other problems as well – intelligence programs are hard to justify (you don’t know if the investment is paying for itself), and the current field hasn’t developed enough to prove any real returns.
The Dark Web is a veritable source of invaluable information that companies can harness.
Here, you can check up on forum posts about a group of consumers, see the latest list of compromised credentials such as credit card numbers and email addresses, or find which domains are set up for phishing or scamming purposes.
Organizations setting up a good defense will find the Dark Web a good place to start.
You or your team of threat intelligence can ultimately see what kind of goods or information are stolen in real time and act accordingly, immediately improving the security threat defense to close any infiltration holes.
Almost all data and information found here is of use, and very relevant to your business, your competitors or your target audience.
You can read up on and filter data to important things such as your supply chain, customers, IT and data, products, employees, and the business itself.
The Dark Web is larger than you might think. The open web alone has thousands of Dark Web sites indexed, and once you get inside it, there are thousands upon thousands more.
Most of these sites are primarily configured to being online marketplaces that buy, sell or trade illicit goods underground, but they are set up in a way that it is easy to use.
When you search for relevant information on the Dark Web, you will find other bits of useful things such as product development plans, intellectual properties, hardware and software baselines, cybersecurity acquisition and overall strategy, customer loyalty and legal defenses.
You’ll also be certain to find your brand’s loyalty and reputation on this side of the internet.
Threats team was the one who suggested tapping into the Dark Web to secure a better threat intelligence system.
The company has a large base of customers, from large firms to whole governments, who rely upon them to protect their assets against cyber-attacks.
ThreatStream employs an array of end-to-end threat intelligence programs and also scoop up data to gain insightful knowledge on how threats form and how they spread.
The data gathered here may prove to be invaluable should a major breach happen; things such as motivation, actual target, purpose and reason for the attack can strengthen the defense in post or even pre-breach status.
Instead of being scared of the Dark Web, ThreatStream encourages organizations to employ the underground economy and learn it from the inside.
The threat intelligence that can be found here, as well as the circulating information such as malware and phishing trades can be harnessed as tools that will bolster your businesses’ defense in the longer run.
Cybersecurity professionals already have a working knowledge on how to get into Tor using virtual machines and secure terminals.
Hiring intelligence personnel and threat analysts to decipher the data and translate it to a more meaningful report can get your security systems up and running efficiently.
It is definitely possible to create a long-term data repository and branch out to cover analytic activities such as root-cause analysis, predictive analysis, and forensics in the same vein as alert, incidental data and cyber events to have an organized way of seeking out the threat before the breach even begins.