Meet The Man Who Tracks Kidnappers and Paramilitaries Using Blockchain

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Meet The Man Who Tracks Kidnappers and Paramilitaries Using Blockchain

Post by howlermunkey » Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:54 pm

We first mentioned Ben Strickland in our coverage of his report on SadaqaCoins, a dark web marketplace aimed at crowdfunding for weapons and paramilitary training of Syrian jihadists. Strickland didn’t just stumble across the site — he’s an OSINT (open source intelligence) investigator who uses OSINT techniques to trace cryptocurrency transactions and draw connections between paramilitaries, extortionists, and organized criminals online.

In June, Strickland published a Medium post called “Tracing a Jihadi cell, kidnappers and a scammer using the blockchain — an open source investigation.”

Strickland spoke to CCN about the open-source data techniques he used in his investigation, describing open source data as anything from YouTube videos, blockchain data, satellite imagery, or social media posts.

“I started by looking at a jihadist group that were requesting donations from the public through the typical channels groups like that generally operate on (Telegram, Twitter). Doing the same as I do with human rights abuses, I looked at all of the data available. It became apparent to me than an address linked to their account was linked to a kidnapping in South Africa.” ... lockchain/

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