The US Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) has been working towards establishing a dominant presence in the war against cybercrime on darknet markets.
The USPIS’s heavy involvement is not surprising, given that darknet markets rely on the US Postal Service (informally referred to as “snail mail”) to ship their goods across the country – illicit and lawful alike.
Now, the USPIS is looking to strengthen their capabilities by bringing on a new operative to join their ranks.
Revealed in a job listing that was recently posted, the US Postal Inspection Service is seeking the services of “an Investigative (Internet) Analyst” with experience in dealing with the darknet markets.
The primary tasks of the sought-after analyst would be to examine data from various sources of both open and classified nature.
Analyst to be Placed in USPIS Cybercrime Program
The sought after analyst will be placed in USPIS cybercrime program, which specializes in reviewing data from the Tor network, gathering forensic images, conducting investigations on these darknet markets, researching tools and technologies, and generally looking into activities that may involve the US Postal Service network.
Darknet Markets will be the Focus of Analysis
Unsurprisingly, one of the requirements for the USPIS analyst is to have an extensive knowledge of the various darknet markets available to consumers.
These marketplaces will be the main focus of the investigation by the USPIS, as the key role of the analyst would be to “investigate darknet markets.”
The analyst will also be required to be familiar with associated tools and technologies, not excluding the Tor network and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin – the primary mode of a transaction on the darknet.
According to the listing, the job description of the analyst borders on that of the Federal Agency’s investigative duties since the applicant will be required to prioritize the analysis of various darknet markets and the cyber criminals that frequent those sites.
The goal of USPIS is, however, similar to that of the FBI; they both aim to trace the high-value digital drug trade criminals from within those often illicit markets.
USPIS has Already Been Instrumental in a Number of Cases
The growing demand for the USPIS’s intervention in various darknet market cases stems from the fact that the growth of these markets translates to the increased usage of the US Postal Service.
Some of the closed cases that the USPIS has been involved heavily include “Operation Hyperion” from November 2016 and the sentencing of an AlphaBay vendor for selling stolen information.
More recently, one of the USPIS’s cases resulted in a man from Brooklyn taking the stand and pleading guilty to the trafficking and distribution of heroin through a darknet marketplace.
The USPIS has been on the offensive ever since their data breach in 2014, where the personal information of over 800,000 USPS employees was compromised.
This intrusion caused an infrastructural interruption in the US Postal Service’s network, according to national public information officer Paul J. Krenn.
“Utilizing the Available Information Resources is the Best Move for USPIS” – Paul J. Krenn, USPIS PIO
The USPIS cybercrime program is focused towards utilizing information from all available sources, including markets on the dark web and open sources, to further strengthen their position on the ongoing war against the digital drug trade.
Not much has been said concerning the trade itself, but it’s clear that the primary targets of this investigative service will be those who distribute their illicit goods using the US Postal Service in addition to those who aim to compromise their network and infrastructure once again.