April 26, 2021
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become more and more relevant for investigators. AI supports a wide range of activities enabling AI-powered web intelligence. AI web intelligence is used for decision-making since it improves efficiency for automated web investigations in the context of criminal investigations. Overall, AI-powered OSINT tools, including SOCMINT tools, help agencies, and organizations to make sense of vast amounts of publicly available online and social media data from a wide range of OSINT sources quickly and efficiently.
Investigators, intelligence analysts, and decision-makers need AI-driven OSINT solutions for various reasons. Apart from achieving a complete return on investment, safety and security will be approved since dark web intelligence gathered during dark web investigations does not require investigators to scan the dark web themselves. For a long time, deep and dark web monitoring has been one of the major cybercrime challenges for law enforcement due to the risk of exposure.
To put it in other words, OSINT and SOCMINT solutions need to make the invisible visible for e.g., web fingerprint reconstruction or face recognition in crime investigations, which make them ideal forensic tools. These tools allow investigators to gain insights that would otherwise remain hidden, helping them to map connections between threat actors, or groups, even when seemingly unrelated.
So what are the main benefits of an AI-powered WEBINT platform?
AI-powered open-source intelligence tools (including open-source intelligence tools for social media) accelerate open-source investigations through the power of AI. For example, collecting vast amounts of OSINT data isn’t enough, the data must also be analyzed for connecting the dots. When done manually, this painstaking process requires significant investments vis-a-vis time and people; with the risk that valuable insights may be missed. An AI-driven platform will increase productivity and bring investigations to a quicker conclusion.
As indicated above, manual investigations carry the risk of missing out on insights, evidence, and connections that could provide clues in a criminal case. Without the power of AI, investigating and uncovering threats across the open, deep, and dark web is substantially more difficult since the manual collection and analysis of massive amounts of seemingly random, unstructured data collected from all layers of the web is humanly impossible. Finding connections and affiliations as well as behavior anomalies must be done quickly and in-depth for actionable follow-up as part of e.g., online drug investigations or human trafficking on dark web investigations.
Most investigative breakthroughs result from connections, more specifically, the ability to turn billions of seemingly unrelated data points into a visible network. This visibility allows investigators to rapidly flag suspicious activities, such as cyberthreats, for location-based investigations. Investigators can gain actionable insights on threat actors and criminal networks since the AI-powered WEBINT platform will connect seemingly isolated crimes or events, and map and display these networks and connected threat actors in a user-friendly GUI.
As mentioned before, investigators need to conduct a dark web investigation to detect and prevent human trafficking, drug deals, money laundering, and other crimes committed or instigated on the dark web. When conducting such a dark web investigation manually, the investigator might expose him or herself to threat actors with dire consequences. An AI-powered web intelligence platform allows investigators to conduct anonymized and automated web investigations without jeopardizing their own or their agency’s safety.
To conclude, for criminal investigations that require collecting and analyzing OSINT data from the surface, deep, and dark web, the best OSINT tool is the AI-powered WEBINT platform of Cobwebs Technologies, which enables cybersecurity footprinting, dark web intelligence, AI crime prediction, geo-intelligence, and much more.