This month, Constella Intelligence had the privilege of working with the Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative (ATII) through their recent Dark Web Hackathon, a competition among technology industry and intelligence gathering officials, aimed at gathering important intelligence information on current human trafficking situations.
The contest put over 330 registrants to the test, working to find previously undiscovered information on the dark web. Participants used a variety of intelligence platforms, including Constella’s Hunter investigative platform, to gather information. Hunter integrates with ATII’s licensed intelligence platform, Hades, allowing for additional detection and intelligence abilities. The Hunter platform is used by companies, law enforcement, and technology journalists, such as Brian Krebs, who recently published a story about how he was able to track the digital footprints of cybercriminal broker, Babam using Hunter.
What Went Down?
The 330 registrants dispersed into 58 teams of individuals from both the technology and law enforcement industries, tasked with working together to search for significant leads on the dark web. Teams “hunted” for information on various illegal activities, ranging from child exploitation to ransomware, to financial and drug crimes.
Multiple challenges were conducted throughout the five-day event, resulting in thousands of submissions of important information that could lead to the discovery and detection of dark web illegal activity. Specifically, the Hash Challenge, which focused on tracking Child Sexual Abuse Material on the dark web, had 2,898 submissions. Following the competition, third-party sources analyzed the information, much of which had not yet previously been discovered. These submissions will be used by ATII and law enforcement agencies to further detect and combat human trafficking and other online illegal activity.
“Our team was provided thousands of selectors including Bitcoin addresses, emails, and IP addresses and conducted an investigation across five days that led to 4 detailed intelligence reports including potential human trafficking, CSAM, and Terrorism leads.”
Together, the 330 participants have field experience spanning 40 countries and included a broad mix of participants from industry veterans to university students.
The Dark Web Hackathon used real-world trafficking data in the events, and the results of the competition will provide law enforcement with additional evidence for tracking illegal crimes and suspects. The event not only tests the skills and abilities of industry professionals, but it also provides resources for protecting our communities and assisting in the efforts made by the ATII to fight cybercrime and human trafficking across the world.