INTERPOL Cyber Crime Division Is Training Police to Fight Crime in Darknet
Deep web, Darknet, Tor and other anonymity services have long become an interest for law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The conviction of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht served as a reminder that 21st century police is a very different than it was some 10 years ago.
INTERPOL was founded in 1923 to help fight crime and improve cooperation between member police departments of member countries, which is currently 190. INTERPOL itself does not have any police officers however the main focus of this organization is to exchange information about organized crime.
This intergovernmental organization facilitating international police cooperation, is trying to prepare police for cyber crime by offering a training course in policing of Darknet. It has just completed its first course of training designed to help police officers to use and understand the Darknet. The five-day course was held in Singapore, and attended by officers from Australia, Finland, France, Ghana, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Sweden. According to INTERPOL, the next course will be held in Brussels.
The main focus of training program was identifying the methods and strategies used by organized crime networks and individuals to avoid detection on the Darknet. As part of the training, INTERPOL’s Cyber Research Lab created its own private Darknet network, private cryptocurrency and simulated marketplace, recreating the virtual ‘underground’ environment used by criminals to avoid detection.
According to INTERPOL’s Director of Cyber Innovation and Outreach unit Madan Oberoi:
Darknets are fast emerging as the preferred trading venue for organized crime networks and individuals to carry out illicit activities, with crypto currencies the preferred medium for paying for these criminal services. The specialized training provided by INTERPOL equips law enforcement with the understanding and tools they need to take very real action targeting criminals in the virtual world. This unique course also underlines the added value of the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation to our member countries in helping them address emerging crime threats.
The course, co-developed by INTERPOL and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), also included the concept of penetration testing marketplaces on a Darknet infrastructure to determine whether a system is vulnerable to attack.
A second course is scheduled for November in Brussels, with a separate training event also planned for senior law enforcement officers in order to raise awareness of these new threat areas at all policing levels.