Alabama Cyber Now: Disrupting Human Trafficking With Digital Forensics

When most security pros think of threat intelligence, they think of cyber crime – tracking down hackers and cyber criminals aiming to compromise networks to exploit credit card information, corporate secrets, personal identity information or even crippling command and control systems.

However threat intelligence tools used for tracking cyber criminals also can be used to investigate physical criminal activities – like identifying and disrupting those profiting from modern day slavery, or “human trafficking.”

Human trafficking is a huge problem, whether it is forced labor or forced sexual acts for profit. It is happening right in front of our eyes every single day, in every state, every city and every town. According to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there was an 846-percent increase in suspected human trafficking of minors in the United States in only five years.

I had the opportunity to share that startling statistic and stories from victims and DeliverFund, a nonprofit dedicated to crafting scalable solutions to the human trafficking problem, with a group at the 3rd Annual Alabama Cyber Now (ACN) conference in Birmingham.

As I told the audience, I didn’t know when I started out as a researcher 18 years ago that I would end up fighting human trafficking alongside DeliverFund. But I did, and here’s why: no human should be used as an off-the-shelf product against their will.

We help combat it using the digital tools ShadowDragon created to help cybersecurity teams more easily navigate the incredible complexities of modern online investigations to make the world a safer place. My teams and I support the investigative processes of businesses, law enforcement, governments and military by developing tools that map, correlate, monitor and document the case-specific digital activities of targets on the open and dark web.

These same tools help DeliverFund track and stop human trafficking activities by allowing them to:

  1. Enable investigators to follow the breadcrumbs to provide zero-profile attribution on traffickers, criminals and terrorists alike.
  2. Identify where information is being talked about, enabling monitoring of specific areas of interest. DarkNet, Forums, Chat rooms, Data dump sites, online market places. We monitor to pick up new leads and chatter.
  3. Enable a robust intelligence product output, enabling attribution, action and disruption.
  4. Call you to action and donate to the cause!

ACN host TechBirmingham’s motto for the conference was “Cybersecurity is everyone’s business in today’s fast-paced IT-based society.” Human trafficking also is everyone’s business.

Let’s all work together to combat it using the tools the criminals use and in the “playground” where they conduct their business: the internet.

But honestly, enough about us. This post isn’t about us. This is about calling YOU, the reader to action!

Help us take action by contributing money to DeliverFund. We have dedicated our tools, time, experience and even money out of our own pocketbooks to their cause because they are the real deal. Their investigation process is top notch, the results are dramatic, enabling hope and light in a world that is dark to many.

If you want to help DeliverFund combat human trafficking, which takes a toll on millions across the United States every day, click here.

Daniel Clemens

Daniel Clemens

Daniel Clemens is the founder and CEO of both ShadowDragon and Packet Ninjas, a niche cybersecurity consulting and services company.

With extensive experience in defensive and offensive security, Daniel has been a quiet trailblazer in digital intel-gathering long before cyber intelligence became a discipline. More than a decade ago he was inventing and applying his own intelligence tools in support of companies and governments around the world facing urgent threats. Using this deep understanding of web technologies and the behaviors of cybercriminals, he has enhanced, updated and packaged these tools under ShadowDragon.

Daniel is a member of the Odonata Holdings, Inc.
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