With a darknet monitoring tool worth more than 258,000 euro per unit, Aleph-Networks is helping French police get more than just a few footsteps ahead of cyber criminals. In fact, they are trying to get miles ahead in an effort to take down bad guys before they even have a chance to get started.
Earlier this year the French Policing agency, also known as the Gendarmerie, sought out help to understand darknet activity before, during, and after, a criminal bust took place. Therefore, the leaders requested the need for a darknet research tool. With a government allowance for the research, 10 licences were acquired by the judicial center of the National Gendarmerie (PJGN).
According to the specialist letter Intelligence Online, the Directorate General for External Security has also acquired licenses. Aleph-Networks has not confirmed the information but says it has already sold its flagship solution, Graymatter, to the Ministries of Defense, Finance, and the Interior.
French special agents have remained unshakeable in their endeavors to apprehend the perpetrators on darknet drug crimes, so it only became necessary that they equip themselves with a state-of-the-art search engine. This new search engine can fight and reduce crimes on darknet in the country by monitoring the activities of the darknet marketplaces most frequently used from IP addresses in France.
Aleph Network created the software in 2012. Its patented GM Dark Search technology allows “ultra-massive data collection”, in a discrete and non-intrusive way, and a restructuring of the information captured on the different spaces of the web, whether open, non-indexed or using dedicated networks like Tor.
“Our search engine is data agnostic, so we do not put aside weak signals,” says Aleph-Networks representatives. “[French authorities are able] to conduct surveys and in-depth analyzes in the deepest and hidden corners of the web where lies the heart of cybercrime.”
Specifically, the platform offers mapping capabilities, searches for specific elements such as a blue card number, and identification of data leaks. This recent development means that the French investigators are now monitoring all criminals who frequent darknet marketplaces, as well as, average Joe people who are just visiting to check it out. There is no real discernment in the research. It tracks usage, not people necessarily.
This technology and strategy are also going global. In the United States, the federal investigators monitored darknet networks the same. In efforts to reduce the death rate of opioid abuse in America, tracking this dark web traffic will help create an understanding of where the sources of the drugs come from.
The device is a research effort that will pay off dividends over time. In recent years, the company, supported by Banque Publique D’investissement (BPIFrance), has collected numerous awards. It was also utilized in 2015 by the Direction Générale de L’armement (DGA) Lab of the Ministry of Defense. Aleph-Networks is a member of the Generate start-up group of the Group of defense and security industries land and air-land (Gicat). The icing on the cake was the trophy of innovation Gicat, received last year. Aleph-Networks, which has grown from five to eight employees, is now hoping to double its turnover (around 400,000 euros in the last financial year).
For the French authorities to eradicate darknet crime in France completely, special agents will need to start at the root of the problem. Recently in France, the ‘Black Hand’ dark website was shut down. These actions do not happen overnight and take weeks, even years in some cases of the larger darknet marketplaces. Similarly, to be sure that the operators don’t establish another similar site they arrested its administrator together with the accomplices making their public arrests known as a deterrent to other offenders.
Dark web and other clandestine mediums will consistently continue to be abused by criminals making things difficult for law enforcement agencies. Companies like Aleph-Networks are working to maximize the crime-fighting potential with simple zeroes and ones.
Although the French investigators have been praised for their endeavors in the fight against the threat of cyber-crime perpetrators, putting an end to the abuse of the dark web is still unfinished.