Constella Web Logo white e1703116556868

How to Address the FBI Warning on Synthetic Identities: The North Korean Infiltration of Fake Employees

With fake and synthetic identities emerging as a potent tool for nefarious actors, the threat of cyber deception looms large. Recent revelations shed light on the sophisticated tactics employed by individuals seeking to infiltrate organizations using fraudulent personas. This blog explores the evolving landscape of synthetic identities, the imperative for businesses to bolster their defenses, and Constella’s innovative response with its Advanced Know Your Employee (KYE) solution.

Unveiling the Elaborate Ruse

Across industries and borders, malicious actors are employing elaborate strategies to deceive organizations and gain unauthorized access. Through fake names, counterfeit documents, and meticulously crafted online profiles, these actors seek to exploit vulnerabilities and compromise sensitive information. Constella’s advanced capabilities, leveraging the world’s largest data lake of more than 1 trillion assets collected from the surface, deep, and dark web, can reveal the widespread presence of synthetic identities across freelancing platforms, online communities, and even within existing organizations, underscoring the pervasive nature of this threat.

The Mechanics of Synthetic Identities

Synthetic identities are not merely a collection of false information but carefully constructed personas designed to evade traditional verification processes. Fraudsters combine real and fabricated data to create these identities, making them harder to detect. This sophisticated approach allows them to open bank accounts, apply for credit, and gain employment under assumed identities.

According to a TransUnion report, synthetic identity fraud reached record levels in 2023, with U.S. lender exposure to synthetic identities reaching a staggering $2.9 billion.

Warning on a Global Scale: A Call to Vigilance

Late last year, Reuters broke a startling revelation: The North Korean government had been orchestrating a covert operation using synthetic identities to infiltrate Western companies, aiding its weapons programs.

In this high-stakes investigation, Constella’s solution helped to sift through millions of data points to identify anomalies and potential threats. This capability is invaluable in helping organizations in uncovering synthetic identities—fake personas constructed using a combination of real and fabricated information. By cross-referencing data from various sources, Constella is able to pinpoint inconsistencies that flag potential synthetic identities used by operatives or other malicious actors.

On May 16, 2024, the FBI issued an advisory to help companies recognize and counter threats related to fake IT workers entering the U.S. workforce. Stressing the importance of rigorous identity verification processes, the advisories outlined red flags and specific measures, including comprehensive background checks and video interviews. The imperative for businesses to enhance their identity verification processes and fortify their defenses against cyber deception has never been clearer. That same day, The DOJ announced multiple arrests linked to the scheme, targeting individuals who facilitated using stolen identities. Among those arrested was Christina Marie Chapman from Arizona, who ran “laptop farms” to help North Korean IT workers remotely access company networks under false pretenses. These actions are part of a broader strategy to dismantle the network and hold those who enable such fraud accountable. 

Constella’s Groundbreaking Response: Advanced KYE Solution

Constella Intelligence introduced its Advanced Know Your Employee (KYE) solution in response to the escalating threat landscape. Leveraging our proprietary AI profiling engine and the world’s largest data lake comprising more than one trillion assets, this innovative solution empowers organizations to uncover synthetic identities and manage internal identity risks with unparalleled precision. From continuous monitoring to enhanced identity verification, Constella is revolutionizing internal risk management in an era marked by sophisticated cybercrime and fraud.

Empowering Organizations with Proactive Risk Mitigation

Constella’s Advanced KYE solution equips organizations with unrivaled capabilities for proactive risk mitigation:

Insider Monitoring

Identify and address potential threats through continuous scanning and comprehensive analysis. The solution offers insights into employee activities, helping organizations detect and mitigate risks before they escalate.

Contractor and Portfolio Monitoring

Safeguard investments and supply chain integrity with ongoing insights into contractor activities. This feature is particularly crucial for businesses that rely on third-party vendors and freelancers.

Fraudulent Employee Provisioning

Enhance traditional background checks by uncovering potential risk factors inaccessible through conventional means. This includes deep web searches and cross-referencing multiple data sources to verify employee identities.

A Paradigm Shift in Internal Identity Risk Management

As AI technology continues to evolve, its applications in fraud prevention will expand. Advanced KYE is just the beginning. Future innovations will incorporate more sophisticated approaches and broader applications, further enhancing an organization’s ability to detect and prevent synthetic identity fraud and threats.

A Collective Call to Action

As businesses navigate the complexities of the digital landscape, the threat of synthetic identities and internal risks loom. Constella’s Advanced KYE solution offers hope, enabling organizations to uncover and mitigate internal identity risks with unprecedented accuracy. Are you ready to fortify your organization against cyber deception? Discover how Constella’s Advanced KYE solution can empower your business. Schedule a free demo today and embark on a journey towards enhanced cybersecurity resilience.

Leveraging Deep OSINT to Enhance Financial Institution Fraud Prevention

The ongoing need for financial institution fraud prevention presents continuous challenges that can have far-reaching impacts on trust and financial stability. Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) is increasingly recognized as a crucial element in the strategic toolkit for fraud prevention within financial institutions. In fact, Fraud scams and bank fraud schemes resulted in $485.6 billion in losses globally last year, according to Nasdaq’s 2024 Global Financial Crime Report released last month.

The Critical Role of Deep OSINT in Financial Service Fraud Prevention

Classic OSINT involves the collection and analysis of information from publicly accessible sources to identify potential threats or fraudulent behavior before it causes harm. In the financial sector, this means leveraging a variety of data points from web and forums in internet and social media. Constella has expanded classic OSINT with Deep OSINT, that includes the Deep & Dark Web, which holds a much bigger amounts of information and where 1 trillion identity assets can be found.

Constella’s Hunter: A Beacon for Financial Fraud Prevention

Constella Hunter exemplifies the application of Deep OSINT in the financial sector. Hunter’s capabilities enable financial institutions to delve deep into the digital realm to uncover and attribute fraudulent activities to real-world identities. By analyzing data across multiple layers of the internet—including the obscure corners of the dark web—Hunter provides unparalleled visibility into potential threats.

Operational Benefits of Deep OSINT in Financial Institutions

Using OSINT tools like Hunter, financial institutions can streamline their fraud detection processes. This includes:

  • Cyber Attribution: Quickly linking suspicious activities to real identities, thereby reducing the time from detection to response.
  • Risk Assesment: Incident response teams can assess risk and prioritize depending on who is the attacker. An apparently small event becomes should be taken very seriously if the attacker is an important adversary.
  • Enhanced KYC Compliance: Supporting Know Your Customer (KYC) efforts by providing detailed background checks and identity verification to prevent fraud.
  • Know your Employee & Insider Threat Detection: Identifying unusual or unauthorized activities that could suggest internal fraud.
  • AML and Sanction Lists compliance: Financial institutions use Deep OSINT to investigate money laundering and can detect engagement with a sanctioned entity.

The Strategic and Competitive Advantage of Deep OSINT

For financial institutions, the integration of Deep OSINT into their cybersecurity and fraud prevention strategies provides a competitive edge. It allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the threat landscape, better risk management, and more effective protection of customer assets and information. By deploying Constella’s Deep OSINT solutions, financial organizations can not only defend against fraud but also enhance their operational efficiency and maintain regulatory compliance.

As financial institutions navigate the complexities of the modern threat landscape, Deep OSINT provides a powerful tool for enhancing fraud prevention strategies. Constella Intelligence’s Deep OSINT solutions offer the depth, breadth, and analytical capabilities necessary to safeguard against the evolving tactics of cybercriminals and fraudsters in the financial sector.

For financial leaders interested in strengthening their fraud prevention systems, exploring Constella Intelligence’s Deep OSINT capabilities can be a significant step toward securing their operations in the digital age. Schedule a demo today to get started.

Deep OSINT: Unlocking the Power of the Deep & Dark Web

Over the past decade, the Deep & Dark Web has emerged as a staggering repository of tens of billions of exposed identities adding up to more than one trillion identity assets exposed, an unprecedented volume that defied all expectations. These identities stem mostly from massive breaches, leakages affecting some of the world’s largest companies and organizations.

Classic Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) primarily depends on publicly available information that individuals consciously choose to share or make public. It involves gathering data from sources like social media, public records, websites, and publications. In this approach, investigators primarily work with data that authors, individuals, or organizations have intentionally put into the public domain. Classic OSINT very often depends on the mistakes or disclosures made by the subjects themselves, as they control what they choose to publish.

In stark contrast Deep OSINT data consists of information that was never intended for such widespread disclosure. It was very hard to imagine 10 years ago that our private information would be share in such scale. That is why Deep OSINT is so powerful in finding connection of bad actors: it’s information that they it was unintended, and they never thought that it would be made public.

Actor Investigations and the Role of Deep OSINT

What makes this reservoir of data truly remarkable is that it encapsulates the digital histories of most internet users spanning the last 15 years. This treasure trove of information has opened new horizons for large-scale investigations into actors operating on the internet.

Examples of this investigations are Reuters investigations of North Korean IT workers using fake names, sham LinkedIn profiles, counterfeit work papers and mock interview scripts,  and the many investigations that Brian Krebs has held taking down criminal networks

It’s crucial to emphasize that this resource should only be harnessed in the realms of fraud and crime investigations, where it can be an invaluable tool in the pursuit of justice and security.

Deep OSINT’s Critical Role in Fraud Detection

Automating these investigations at scale using AI allows the assessment of thousands or even millions of profiles for fraud detection.

In the fight against fraud, deep OSINT plays a pivotal role through:

  • Advanced KYC (Know Your Customer)
  • KYE (Know Your Employee) screening and Insider Detection,
  • Synthetic identity fraud detection, which spots fictitious identities created by merging real and fake information.

By harnessing the power of a data lake consisting of over one trillion assets, Constella Intelligence provides an unparalleled level of detection abilities, crucial in today’s intricate cyber threat landscape.

Deep OSINT as the New Frontier in Cyber Investigations and Fraud

Fraud detection Security service providers and enterprises can benefit immensely from deep OSINT capabilities. As evidenced by Constella Intelligence, whose expertise in AI-driven identity risk intelligence and deep OSINT investigations has set a benchmark in the industry, the integration of deep OSINT into security measures is not just an option—it is a necessity for robust digital defense mechanisms.

Revolutionizing Identity Theft with AI

How are we revolutionizing identity theft with AI? In an age where digital footprints are as unique as fingerprints, the concept of identity has become the new perimeter in cybersecurity. Each compromised identity represents a potential vulnerability, an entry point that can be exploited through sophisticated identity attacks. Against this backdrop, Constella Intelligence leads the charge against digital identity threats with a cutting-edge, AI-driven approach. This comprehensive strategy not only anticipates potential threats but also actively engages users in safeguarding their digital presence through innovative technologies and simulations. Here’s a closer look at how Constella is reshaping the landscape of identity theft protection.

Introduction to AI-Driven Identity Theft

As we navigate the digital age, marked by unparalleled connectivity and convenience, we’re also faced with sophisticated threats to personal identity security. Cybercriminals are constantly crafting new methods to exploit personal information for malicious ends. In response, Constella Intelligence harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to establish a dynamic and robust defense mechanism. This initiative goes beyond merely responding to threats, aiming instead to preempt them and marking a proactive shift in the cybersecurity paradigm.

Simulating Fraudsters’ AI Tools to Gather Information

In the shadowy corners of the internet, a service known as FraudGPT is being sold to criminals eager to exploit AI for malicious purposes. Constella’s response is to fight fire with fire. By employing the same advanced AI technologies used by cybercriminals, Constella introduces AI-Driven Identity Resolution as a shield against identity theft. This method utilizes Constella’s vast data repositories to generate a sophisticated risk intelligence graph, crafting a detailed Risk Profile for each individual.

This approach delves deep into the digital identity mosaic of each user, examining Personally Identifiable Information (PII), online behaviors, and social connections to uncover vulnerabilities. By comprehending the intricate web of a user’s digital life, Constella can anticipate and neutralize potential threats with unparalleled precision. This proactive defense mechanism provides users with a personalized shield, leveling the playing field in the ongoing battle for digital security.

Hypertargeted Attack Simulations with AI

A fundamental aspect of Constella’s strategy for user education and preparedness is the deployment of hypertargeted attack simulations. These AI-powered simulations are intricately designed based on the specific vulnerabilities and exposed data of an individual. By simulating realistic scam scenarios, Constella offers a safe and informative environment for users to learn, react, and adapt. Far from being generic, these simulations are tailor-made to reflect the threats that an individual is most likely to face, significantly enhancing the learning experience. This hands-on approach equips users with the ability to discern and counteract identity theft attempts, thus bolstering their digital resilience.

Setting a New Standard – Revolutionizing Identity Theft Protection

Constella Intelligence’s AI-driven approach to identity theft protection heralds a paradigm shift in cybersecurity. Through meticulous monitoring, personalized scam simulations, and an emphasis on user education, Constella tackles not just the symptoms of digital threats but their root causes. By empowering users to defend themselves effectively, Constella not only boosts individual security but also fosters a safer digital ecosystem for all.

As digital threats continue to evolve, the importance of informed, proactive individuals in the fight against identity theft cannot be overstated. Constella’s initiative serves as a testament to the belief that in this battle, an educated user is the best defense, underscoring the critical role of each digital identity in the broader cybersecurity perimeter.

The New Identity Risk AI Model

In the dynamic landscape of cybersecurity, Constella transcends its role as a data company, revolutionizing Identity Risk through cutting-edge AI-driven intelligence. The new AI model leverages Constella’s vast repository of greater than one trillion assets to protect Identity Theft and assess Identity Risk.  

From a Massive Data Lake into an Intelligence Risk Graph 

Constella has transformed its extensive identity data lake, sourced from various internet domains, including the Dark Web and social media, into a sophisticated risk intelligence graph that gathers all the different exposed information from a person through 15 years of activity, providing a complete Surface of Attack and comprehensive Risk Profile. 

A New Era of Identity Theft Protection: AI-Driven Scam Simulations 

As the leader in Digital Identity Theft monitoring, Constella focuses on proactive defense mechanisms against identity theft by scanning underground communities for unauthorized information exposure.  

This new phase introduces an advanced AI model designed to produce simulated hyper-targeted and customized identity scams, serving as a crucial educational and awareness tool. Constella aims to train and educate consumers about potential cyber-attacks by simulating real attacks from a criminal’s perspective. 

Each compromised identity in the hands of criminals represents a potential vulnerability that targeted identity attacks will exploit. The new AI-driven simulations mimic those attacks, building a human firewall to protect themselves in the digital world better. 

An Investigation Copilot to Reveal Bad Actors  

Constella’s data lake also powers fraud, law enforcement OSINT investigation teams Uncover bad actors and insiders with unparalleled depth, enabling a new level of scrutiny in the fight against cyber threats. 

With Constella’s AI model, investigators now have access to an AI Copilot that automates the investigation and assessment of potential bad actors on an unprecedented scale. The actual process of pivoting, finding new data, reviewing, and pivoting again is now done by the Copilot, gaining great efficiency for the investigators. 

Monitoring Identity Risk at Scale to Protect from Fraud 

Leveraging Constella’s data lake with a rich digital history spanning 15 years, the new Constella AI automatically assesses millions of identities, offering fraud teams a powerful new tool to combat online fraud.    

Key applications include: 

Screening at Onboarding (KYC): Identifying and preventing onboarding of bad actors and risky profiles using 15 years of user activity history while preserving privacy. 

Detection of Synthetic Identities: Simulating and scoring the risk of new onboarded users being fake or fabricated. 

Automatic Monitoring of Potential Insiders: Vigilantly tracking organizational activities to promptly identify and address insider threats. 

A Company Transformation into an Intelligence Powerhouse 

The leap from a data-centric company to an intelligence-focused organization marks a significant milestone for Constella. The automation of AI Identity Resolution, coupled with Identity Theft scam generation provided by Generative AI Large Language Models, enables the creation of thorough attack surfaces and customized scam simulations to protect and educate users.  This transition reflects a significant evolution in the fight against cybercrime. Constella, now an intelligence hub, is a testament to innovation’s power in creating a safer digital world. 

Stay informed and prepared. In the digital age, knowledge is not just power but protection.