Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative Gives Summary of the Follow Money Fight Slavery 2022 Summit and Hackathon

Follow Money Fight Slavery 2022 Summit Header
Follow Money Fight Slavery 2022 Summit Header

Wilmington, NC. – July 12, 2022 – The Follow Money Fight Slavery Summit, hosted by the Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative (ATII), kicked off its second annual virtual conference, welcoming over 2,000 registrants from 87 countries with a week-long calendar of events, focused on anti-human trafficking. The event agenda consisted of a 2-day main Summit, a 6-hour Darkwebathon Sprint, and a half day Keep Kids Safe Symposium. In this week-long virtual summit, BSA Officers, Financial Crime Investigators, Compliance & AML, Regulators, Law Enforcement, Cyber Security Professionals, Cryptocurrency Industry Leaders, Teachers, Students, Parents & more came together to hear about Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues as it relates to reducing regulatory risk by following the money to fight slavery. The crowd was double the size of the previous summit and was filled with representatives of the financial and crypto industries, law enforcement, government agencies, nonprofits, educational institutions, as well as university students. Over 6 days, 47 speakers, ranging from CEOs, Founders, and Directors in the blockchain, crypto, banking, law, consulting, data, supply chain regulation, and analytics space delivered 12 talks, including panel discussions, Q&As, and a keynote. Among the three events that took place, the Darkwebathon Sprint was, arguably, the most action-oriented portion of the summit that generated thousands of reports sharing the ultimate goal of creating actionable intelligence so that law enforcement agencies can be equipped with real data to make arrests.

“Our goal for the Summit this year, was to bring ideas that brought us to the edge of our comfort zones and pushed us to think about things in a different way,” said Aaron Kahler, Founder and CEO of Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative. “It was such a pleasure to work with the many companies, organizations and entities who made the event possible.”

Fiscal and in-kind event sponsors include CoinFlip, Protiviti, Guidehouse, Constella Intelligence, Social Links, TRM Labs, Bittrex, University of New Haven, Siren, Hunchly, SiberX, ManchesterCF, ADF Solutions, Maltego, OSINT Combine, CiperTrace – a Mastercard Company, and TCAE.

Darkwebathon Sprint

Over 300 Darkwebathon Sprint registrants with varying backgrounds and skillsets signed up to create intelligence reports using open-source intelligence, blockchain forensics and dark web intelligence, focusing on multiple objectives and other challenges in a 6-hour time period. In the Cryptocurrency Challenge alone, there was a total of 202 submissions. The challenge was based around blockchain forensics by submitting data that was involved in a range of illegal activity on the dark web.

All investigations were performed on ATII’s licensed darkweb intelligence platform. Participants were trained on a variety of other technology applications, that could all be integrated within the platform to aid in their investigative process. A majority of the investigations focused on child exploitation and CSAM, followed by financial crimes, drug, weapons trafficking, and ransomware.

The hash challenge had a significant amount of more submissions, yielding 1,603 hashes submitted. The challenge consisted of locating Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) distribution sites on the darkweb and submitting the hashes that were linked to that site. ATII’s dark web Intelligence platform currently has 220,000+ darkweb sites that are linked to CSAM and are validated by screenshots (without pictures rendered), vanity URL’s, titles, website description, and meta keywords content keywords that are found on the onion sites. Post-event analysis in 3rd party databases has determined that much of this new content was not reported previously and could likely be fresh CSAM content.

The participant’s level of expertise ranged from students studying at universities, to experts with years of experience in the field and spanning nearly 40 countries. The Darkwebathon is not only an opportunity for students to prepare themselves in realistic cyber investigations, but also, a way for all participants to connect and network with industry experts who want to see them succeed. ATII is proud to foster the talent and help them garner technological opportunities to prepare, or enhance, them for promising careers and showing them how to make positive social impact in the world.

The event organizer and CISO of ATII, Larry Cameron, stated “ATII has made considerable effort to provide a platform for law enforcement, investigators, compliance professionals and threat intelligence companies that will not expose them to harmful and illegal CSAM content while allowing for several layers of validation relating to illicit activities. We are excited to not only allow the public to assist with the investigations but to follow-up on the actionable intelligence after the event.”

Keep Kids Safe Symposium

In-line with National Missing Children’s Day, and predicating the Summit, a half-day event was hosted by Matt Richardson, ATII’s Director of Intelligence and Investigations, to focus on online/offline safety for children and teens to safeguard them from human trafficking and exploitation. The Keep Kids Safe Symposium attendees heard from 3 of our nation’s leading child-safety experts: Alani Bankhead, former ICAC and Professional Coach/Consultant at Mighty Sparrow Coaching, and her police K9, Lulu, started off the event by talking about tricky people, online safety, and how kids can detect if something is wrong. Staca Shehan, VP Analytical Services Division at NCMEC, talked about her experience with one of the most recent trends including a significant increase in the online enticement of children. Lastly, Dominic Vogel, Founder and Chief Strategist at Cyber.SC, spoke about how to best harmonize technology and trust and how parents can ensure that they’ve done their best to protect and empower their children.

Outcomes and Trends from the Main Summit

Companies that have anti-human trafficking initiatives in place partnered with ATII to offer speakers from their organizations to discuss industry trends and new tools for reporting, detecting and collecting metrics internally and in supply chains around human trafficking. Each session is packed full of insights and take-aways, such as how human trafficking fits into ESG practices, how NGO’s can take some of the burden off from a company’s intent to combat human trafficking, how to monitor data to gain insights to detect cyber threats, and how to navigate regulations and risk in the cryptocurrency industry. Recordings of all presentations are posted on ATII’s resource page and YouTube channel.

About ATII

The Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative is a non-profit organization established in 2019 in Beaufort, South Carolina. ATII’s mission is to combat global human trafficking by leveraging corporate social responsibilities directly through advocacy awareness, intelligence integration, technology advancement and strategic data collaboration. ATII aspires to pioneer necessary change in the approach to trafficking prevention, detection, reporting and collaboration to achieve justice and save lives.