Victoria-based Echosec, an online data aggregation platform, has announced the launch of Beacon, a dark web search tool. Beacon aims to help security teams and public safety professionals find critical information from the dark web securely, through a user’s standard web browser.
“Beacon helps teams to quickly identify information that can prepare them for the worst-case scenario.”
Searching the dark web is vital for security and public safety, as it can be a hotbed for criminal activity, but the dark web is not indexed, and not secure. Beacon is hoping to provide users a singular point of entry into the dark web, presenting structured and consistent information. The company said by organizing dark web data, it aims to make the analysis of it more efficient, therefore making threat intelligence actionable.
“Beacon helps teams to quickly identify information that can prepare them for the worst-case scenario,” said Michael Raypold, chief technology officer of Echosec. “Through Beacon, users can identify threats quickly and enable efficient issues management.”
A Beacon search can deliver intelligence on criminal activity in the domains of drug trafficking, firearms sales, and hacker data. A search conducted by Echosec on April 2 found 42,272 cases of hacker data using the keyword “Canadian.” “Drugs” returned 1,329 results, and “gun” returned 593 results.
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More advanced search functions in Beacon have produced information on the sale of social security numbers and identities, email addresses, credit card numbers. Beacon found 1,310 results for PINs (personally identifiable information) during its search on April 2.
Previously, the only way to access the dark web was through a Tor Browser, which is free, open-source software that enables anonymous communication on the web. The browser directs Internet traffic through a network to hide a user’s location from anyone running network surveillance or traffic analysis.
Beacon is commercially available and secure for users of all backgrounds, but due to the sensitive nature of the dark web, Echosec will meet with potential clients to review and approve each case before providing user access. Echosec said it is has ensured the Beacon platform is compliant with Canadian privacy laws and data provider terms.
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