The Internet today is full of unseen threats and hazards that can cause significant problems for countries, company’s, and even individuals. Cyber intelligence is a relatively new field that has evolved to counter many of these types of digital threats ranging from stealing intellectual property, to countering viruses and denial of service attacks, to even countering active attacks on a person’s or corporation’s Internet reputation.
For the most part, many cyber intelligence experts have worked on the many different types of cyberterroism that exist today. As an example, identity is one of the most common forms of attacks where a hacker gets into a persons, or a company’s computer system and steals critical information. In a similar way, viruses and other types of harmful scripts can be installed on networks or individual computers to simply cause havoc in the system. In addition, many Government and business sites are routinely probed and attacked using the Internet to try and steal critical data or simply for the “fun of it”.
Today, however, there is a new type of cyber intelligence that is also taking shape in helping people or companies counter attacks on their reputation. For example, many companies are coming under attack from both internal (employees/ex-employees) as well as external sources. The threats that are out there range from people divulging company specific information to people threatening, and then carrying out, physical attacks. There truly is a dark side to the Internet.
In these cases, private investigative, cyber specialists are now performing a role of “who dunnit” and “how to stop it”, and then even “how to clean up the resulting reputation mess” online. Suppose, as an example, that you are a company whose is being maliciously attacked to the point of even accusing key company employees of prostitution or other deviant activities. Remember, just because you read it online does not make it true. If you are inside that company and are under attack, what are you going to do?
Many people respond that they will contact their lawyer which is a great first step. But what most lawyers will tell them is that it is almost impossible (at least for the lawyer) to catch the “Internet bad guy”. This is where a cyber investigator or intelligence expert can really help. Typically working in conjunction with a lawyer, the specialist will then help identify the attacker, provide the physical proof necessary, and then even help restore the clients online reputation when done.
As we like to say, a cyber intelligence expert is the last person you really want to have to hire but when you need them, their services are invaluable.