The term Tradecraft refers to processes, tools and skills used for intelligence gathering. And while there are many methods for collecting, sharing and storing information and evidence, modern-day investigators are increasingly relying on online sources. They use the internet to conduct research on individuals and groups, uncover facts about people’s and organizations’ finances, background and current activities, and follow up on clues about suspected fraud, computer crime, and other threats. This article refers mostly to tradecraft that’s applicable to online investigators.
Financial fraud, cybersecurity intelligence and law enforcement are some of the dominant drivers for online investigations. However, the practice of specialized online research has been expanding into dedicated teams that tackle fraud and brand misuse, corporate security and the emerging practice of trust and safety.
Understandably, the IT management and cybersecurity policies that oversee these teams block access to untrusted sites, leaving much of the deep and dark web off-limits, or with extra hurdles for entry. Yet those are hotbeds for criminal activity, and can be critical areas of research. Accessing unsafe online territory, though, often creates friction between analysts and IT, in addition to both cyber and real-world risk.
But even when necessary sites can be accessed, an often bigger and more complicated problem is concealing an analyst’s identity and intent. Everything you do online — the sites you visit, the browser you use, the way you browse, the device you’re on, where you’re searching from — says something unique about you. With enough details, adversaries can understand who you are, the organization you represent and the mission at hand. They can then act to thwart or threaten your work.
To ensure successful, secure investigations, controlling the details of your digital fingerprint has become a vital capability. In this paper, we’ll look at how managed attribution delivers that control and minimizes risk in online investigations.
Managed attribution gives you all the benefits of misattribution, but in a uniquely tailored and safer way. What should you look for in a managed attribution service?
The right purpose-built solution gives you the power to improve the results and impact of your investigations with capabilities that enforce tradecraft best practices, including:
Increasing the success rate of investigations relies on secure, anonymous access to credible information. Minimizing risk is key — and that requires a solution purpose-built to protect analysts, organizations and the integrity of data collected as evidence.
A managed attribution service like Silo for Research conceals identities during online research, providing the anonymity and access investigators need. From financial fraud specialists to corporate security or trust and safety teams, to law enforcement, analysts can more safely, easily and efficiently conduct anonymous research to maximize productivity and improve their tradecraft.