OSINT and Money Laundering
Let’s take a look at OSINT and Money Laundering. With social media websites and cyber-related intelligence which has given rise to an unprecedented volume of intelligence at one’s fingertips, the internet is an ocean of data that can significantly assist to crack money laundering and terror financing investigations.
Over the last decade, there has been an increase in the drive to adopt intelligence-led approaches and solutions in order to deal with cyber threats based on the understanding that individuals and illicit networks intent on committing financial crimes can be identified by those who utilize all capabilities to see the wider intelligence picture.
Financial institutions (FIs) can be attacked by individuals and networks who mask their identities in sophisticated methods. However, digital fingerprints can be tracked down online, and analysts can exploit the internet to their advantage to reveal hidden leads and connections.
Numerous web sources hold an unparalleled amount of hidden information. Threat actors and illicit network operators leave a digital footprint that can be identified by analyzing the technical details of electronic activity, behavior and cyber information such as IP addresses, time-stamps, device indicators and more.
But despite the advantages available to FIs when using cyber information, many don’t use it to its full potential when conducting Anti-Money Laundering (AML) investigations. Though, the inclusion of this data in suspicious activity reports will make them as complete and accurate as possible.
During AML investigations, social network analysis of the OSINT gathered allows analysts to map and measure the relationships between social networks which may be used to move illicit funds or to finance terror activity.
Terrorists and Criminal Activity
Is OSINT illegal? While practicing OSINT is legal, doxing can quickly become a serious crime when used to exploit, harass or threaten someone.
Transnational criminal organizations and terror organizations have benefited tremendously by technology such as electronic banking systems and cryptocurrency and the accessibility it provides for illicit network financing.
Criminals and terrorists who work in the shadows of the deep and dark web are often paid in virtual currency such as Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, which is an attractive way to launder funds without concern of being caught by AML authorities.
While FIs don’t have the capabilities to gather the type of data that Counter-Terror Financing (CTF) agencies do, they can disrupt the attempts of illegal organizations by blocking and rejecting suspicious transactions and allow assessment of data that might link illicit networks and laundering funds.
SOURCE Cobwebs Technologies