Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative Announces Results of Global Dark Web Hackathon

The Darkwebathon brings together talents who are well-rounded professionals able to create actionable intelligence with innovative technology that helps to detect more cybercrime threats and protect society and organizations more effectively.

Darkwebathon Results Header

The Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative (ATII) and co-host Blockchain Intelligence Group (BIG) announced the winners of the annual Darkwebathon. The four-day virtual event attracted more than 250 registrants. As of this moment, 99 individuals of the 160 earning their Certified Cryptocurrency Investigator (CCI) designation have been completed which is spread across 25 countries, 30 states, and 5 provinces. The #’s will increase in the coming weeks. This generated thousands of reports sharing the ultimate goal of creating actionable intelligence so that law enforcement agencies can take the blockchain forensics data reports and link a person(s) or entity(s) who committed a crime of buying, selling, distribution, hosting or has some link to CSAM.

How it All Went Down

Participants with varying backgrounds and skill sets were asked to create intelligence reports using several proprietary systems, open-source intelligence, blockchain forensics, dark web intelligence, and cyber investigations. They all shared the same focus to combat child sexual abuse material (CSAM) on the clearweb, deepweb, darkweb, and using our darkweb ATII CSAM Information Sharing Initiative to investigate cryptocurrency already attributed to these crimes. This year, to facilitate fruitful investigations, participants were required to be certified in blockchain forensics to participate in the crypto investigations. BIG generously offered the Certified Cryptocurrency Investigator (CCI) certification ($1000 value) to all participants in the Darkwebathon that weren’t certified yet, in exchange for a $100 donation to ATII.

Congratulations go out to all of the event MVP’s. They showed unique skills that help them stand out in these challenges – everything from teamwork, contribution to the event, and investigative skills.

Alex Miller – Pig ButcheringMario Rojas (CISSP, GCIH, CASP, ITIL) – ContributionKate Herrington – OSINTMatthew Buhler on the Cyber Insecurity team – Event MVPBrian Hempstead on the Cyber Insecurity team – Event MVPKelly H. on the Cyber Insecurity team – Event MVPTiby Kantrowitz on the Cyber Insecurity team – Event MVPJens Pose on the Cyber Insecurity team – Event MVPJodie Russell on the Cyber Insecurity team – Event MVPPascal S. on the Cyber Insecurity team – Event MVPHallie S. on the Cyber Insecurity team – Event MVPBheshaj T. on the Cyber Insecurity team – Event MVP

Using the siberX platform, participants were trained on a variety of technology applications like MaltegoPulsy, Hunchly, DarkOwl, Bluestone, and SOS Intel to aid in their investigative process.

Winners of the cryptocurrency challenge are as follows. They needed to investigate cryptocurrency addresses that are dedicated to CSAM, locate identifiable senders/receivers, discover the administrator of the sites, follow the funds to the beneficial owner, discover clusters of addresses, and deanonymize the criminals that are exploiting children.

  • 1st Place – Cyber Insecurity Team
  • 2nd place – Amigo Team
  • 2nd place – Torus Team
  • 3rd place – Freedom Hackers Team
  • 3rd place – A2023 Team
  • 3rd place – Wonk Security Team
  • 4th place – Seawolves Team
  • 4th place – Crypto Force Investigators Team
  • 4th place – Canadian Defenders Team

While Jennifer C. took first place for the number of points earned based on her OSINT reports, Team Cyber Insecurity took 2nd place, followed by Melissa Maranville, MS, PhD candidate, INCI, CCI, BFC and Nadia Vigneault in 3rd and 4th place. Many other teams and individuals earned prizes that were generously donated by ADFTCAEHunchlyMaltego, OSINTionAMLBot, and OSINT Combine.

Also, congratulations to the winners of the #Darkwebathon Pig Butchering (a.k.a. Financial Grooming) challenge. We had lots of diverse intel collected.

1st place – Alex Miller

2nd place – Nadia Vigneault

3rd place – 🛡️Bryant Renfroe 

4th place – Miguel Santareno

4th place – Fabio Massa

Special thanks go out to Alisa Gbiorczyk for acquiring the most donations ($1,355.00) and winning the Top Fundraiser badge. For the team fundraising challenge, Cyber Insecurity took the lead and raised $838.75. The total raised through this participant fundraising initiative was $20,646.

The participants in the Darkwebathon encompassed a diverse range of expertise, spanning from university students to seasoned professionals with extensive experience across various industries such as military, law enforcement, private investigation, compliance, cybersecurity, forensics, and crypto investigations. This event not only served as a valuable training ground for students to gain practical experience in cyber investigations but also provided an invaluable opportunity for all participants to connect and network with industry experts who are invested in their success. ATII takes immense pride in nurturing talent and facilitating technological opportunities to equip individuals for promising careers. Every member of the ATII administrative staff shared a common vision of building and expanding this event as a means to create a positive social impact in the world.

The event organizer and CISO of ATII, Larry Cameron stated “ATII has dedicated significant resources to establish a secure Crypto Fusion Center – a state-of-the-art hub where industry experts, law enforcement agencies, blockchain forensics companies, cryptocurrency exchanges, and technology enthusiasts can collaborate. The #CryptoFusionCenter is where collective knowledge and resources converge to identify and track suspicious cryptocurrency transactions related to OCSE, CSAM, Scams, Terrorism, Stolen Funds, and other crimes. By working together, we uncover intricate networks of illicit activities and aid authorities in their investigations. We are thrilled to extend the opportunity for the public to contribute to ongoing investigations and, subsequently, leverage actionable intelligence to expand our network during the Darkwebathon. We are training the next generation of hunters to target crimes against children and protect the innocent.”

ATII would like to express a big thank you to our other sponsors, GuidehouseAMLBotMagna5, the University of New Haven, and everyone who helped make Darkwebathon 2023 a smashing success. We are truly grateful to have so many individuals who share our passion for combating human trafficking, child exploitation and other illicit online activities that exploit our most vulnerable.