Today, the internet is ubiquitous. It has revolutionized businesses and communications. It has also revolutionized crime. Unfortunately, the web has become a valuable vehicle for criminals to anonymously prey on victims though cyber breaches and corporate espionage. The dark web now provides platforms for nefarious businesses operations of all kinds from identity theft, to money laundering, to human trafficking.
Cybercrime has been around for decades, but in 2010 there was a sharp rise in different attacks leveraging the Internet. It was around that time that Daniel Clemens began to get requests for his security consulting company — Packet Ninjas — to investigate malicious online activity. This was before the term “Threat Intelligence” was coined. There were no tools available to easily do this type of research. It all had to be done manually.
To help his clients, Daniel and his team created a tool – a rudimentary version of today’s SocialNet — to map social media alias’ and identities associated with malicious cyber activities. As new research demands arose over the next few years, he created other tools — OIMonitor, Spotter and AliasDB. In 2014, with the addition of MalNet, he had created five tools to investigate criminal activity online or online communications.
The next year, Daniel founded ShadowDragon to license these five solutions to customers. The goal — empower in house teams with tools that enable the easy and safe collection, correlation and verification of diverse artifacts on the open, deep and dark web. Today, ShadowDragon solutions are used globally by U.S-based and international law enforcement, government, military and intelligence organizations, and Fortune 50 companies.
Digital Tools Designed by Investigators, For Investigators
The grassroots origin of ShadowDragon solutions set a course for them to become a suite of tools that uniquely support the needs of modern investigators. They are fairly simple to use for the non-technical. And, they are geared toward helping in-house teams understand their cyber situational awareness by determining if they are a target, the identity of their adversaries and the adversary’s tools, tactics and history.
*OIMonitor – Performs live searches on open, deep and dark web, and the darknet. Investigators choose data sources and define alerts to automate intelligence gathering, and eliminate the need to manually identify trends and correlate threat.
*SocialNet – Performs live searches and visualizes social media connections to uncover identities, correlations, networks of associates and available geographical information in just minutes. SocialNet can be invaluable for both cyber or physical criminal investigations and social media forensics.
*MalNet – Enables users to query, correlate and visualize Proofpoint ET in near real-time for malware investigations and incident response. MalNet helps identify and visualize malware connections and infrastructures in just seconds to expedite investigations, response, and malware protection.
*AliasDB – Historical database of 70,000 confirmed threat actors, 8,000 aliases and correlation of known associates that can be accessed through a customized interface that can be used for research and documentation. The AliasDB interface enables editing of profiles for customized updates.
*Spotter – Helps investigators gather key intelligence to move an investigation forward. Spotter works by allowing users to engage incognito with a target via a website redirect that tracks the technical aspects of the interaction.
How a Cyber Security Expert Became a Leader
Daniel Clemens is the Founder and CEO of ShadowDragon. Daniel is a cyber security expert, entrepreneur, and business leader who has dedicated his career in solving complex cyber-crimes. Till date, he has assisted governments and businesses of U.S, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East to solve complex cyber crimes ranging from money laundering to corporate espionage to large scale cyber security breaches.
Daniel possesses extensive hands-on experience in both offensive and defensive security tactics as well as a deep understanding to worldwide threats. He has also provided security briefings to the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense former presidential candidates and members of Congress.
During his career Daniel has aided in the identification and apprehension of hackers, terrorists, human traffickers, and members of organized crime. Never loosing his passion for research, he also founded two companies – Packet Ninjas, a cyber security consulting company, and Shadow Dragon.
Tackling the Competition
“Marketing strategy can be made into a multi-dimensional and complex topic, but when you strip all those complexities away its very simple. Deliver what your clients need, do it with excellence, and do it better than the competition,” added Daniel Clemens.
In order to accomplish this, ShadowDragon always listens carefully to its customers and makes sure to address client needs. Daniel believes that “perfection can be a roadblock to progress”, so his team focuses on pursuing excellence, instead, by imbuing his team with the confidence that they can solve any hard problem if they do their best.
By focusing on these two things – customer needs and delivering with excellence – ShadowDragon has grown and succeeded organically since the company started selling its tools.
Preparing for the Future
According to industry analyst reports, the expenditure on threat intelligence services and solutions will eventually increase, and will become integral with security strategy. However, as this is a new category, ShadowDragon has found some confusion and misunderstanding about how threat intelligence tools can be smoothly integrated into security operations and generate relevant and actionable information.
For this reason, the company has started to offer training courses to up the level of understanding and expertise among professionals on the front lines who are not always knighted with a title containing “cyber.” And, ShadowDragon also seeks to help those that do have a cyber focus to adeptly use information that is generated to forward a forensically sound investigative process.
With the growing number of sophisticated data breaches or inside threats, more and more companies will need intelligence on who was behind the threat, the impact on long term business perspectives on capital investments, and alternative strategic tactics to disrupt/counter the humans behind the security issue.
ShadowDragon’s tools uniquely augment team investigative capabilities in support of BOTH physical and cyber cases. They simplify online research making it easier and faster to source their own very relevant intelligence. Analysts and investigators like these tools because they can drive quick results through real-time drill down of investigation clues. It’s a faster, less costly and more proactive approach.