Digital correspondent and consultant
If anything, its users put forth an extreme focus on privacy and also may be reliant on it if they live in an area where censorship is an issue -- these are positive reasons for use.
That said, criminal acts still take place there. Most recently, 73.2 million user records were placed for sale.
About 30 million come from the dating app Zoosk, while 15 million are from the printing service Chatbooks. The rest come from a variety of sites, including the Star Tribune newspaper (1 million), South Korean fashion and furniture sites (8 million total) and the Chronicle of Higher Education (3 million). (source)
These numbers matter. To put in perspective, 60% of small and medium businesses close their doors six months after experiencing a cyber attack. There's a real need to protect consumers, business owners and others from online attacks.
It's no easy feat when trying to get to the source of mass hacking events and other criminal acts. Unlike the public version of the web, it's not as easy to detect where crimes originate, who is involved and how they're continuing to communicate.
Social Links (Disclaimer: The author is a consultant for Social Links), an open source intelligence (OSINT) software vendor, just launched Social Links BOX, a new tool for law enforcement and governing agencies around the world. It's a standalone analogue of the Social Links SaaS service and the new solution accumulates the experience of hundreds of law enforcement agencies around the world, including the majority of European countries.
One of the things that sets them apart from their competitors, is that there is no need for the cloud. In order for law enforcement and government agencies to be truly privatized, they need to ensure that their data collection stays in-house and in a closed loop - a must-have.
“We have been listening to our customers’ ongoing needs and created the Social Links BOX based on those who require the storage of all data in a closed loop, explains Ivan Shkvarun, co-founder, Social Links. “Our partners need to automate their open-source investigations, but they cannot use cloud services.
Our standalone product solves this problem: now all the power of our tools and all the methodological developments are at their disposal.”
Digital forensics is a growing field and competitors are working diligently to set themselves apart -- including a priority on privacy, access and, of course, competitive pricing (although you can expect a costly service for the type of access needed).
Open sources frequently change their formats, operating rules and interfaces. Using a platform, like Social Links, allows clients have the ability to constantly monitor these changes and make necessary adjustments.
The ability to change at a similar pace is essential and will allow digital forensics to maintain a valuable place at the table.
(Disclaimer: The author is a consultant for Social Links)
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