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Sixgill claims to crawl the Dark Web to detect future cybercrime

TechCrunch TechCrunch 14/06/2016 Steve O'Hear

Sixgill, a self-proclaimed ‘cyber intelligence’ SaaS startup that analyses the Dark Web, is launching publicly today and announcing that it has closed a $5 million funding round led by Elron, an Israeli holding company dedicated to building technology companies.

The new capital will not only be used to launch, but also to further develop the Tel Aviv-based startup’s technology that claims to be able to detect and defuse cyber-attacks and sensitive data leaks originating from the Dark Web before they occur. Specific to this is the ability to provide clients with a heads-up via real-time alerts.

But how exactly does Sixgill do this, you may ask. Especially since, by it’s very nature, the Dark Web exists to keep things, well, in the dark, and that criminal users of the Dark Web go to great lengths to keep their activity untraceable.

I’m told that Sixgill has developed proprietary algorithms and tech to connect the Dark Web’s dots by analysing so-called “big data” to create profiles and patterns of Dark Web users and their hidden social networks. It’s via the automatic crunching of this data that the company claims to be able to identify and track potential hackers who may be planning malicious and illegal activity.

Specifically, I’m told the platform can be used to identify sensitive data leaks, illegal marketplaces, and warn of physical attacks to organizations and individuals.

Co-founder and CEO of CEO of Sixgill Avi Kasztan tells me the startup’s typical clients are banks, government defence departments, and intelligence agencies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, key members of Sixgill’s staff are former officials from Israel’s intelligence unit. In other words, this appears to be high level cybersecurity stuff.

“Sixgill understands the Dark Web and the people who run its operations,” he tells me. “Many cyber criminals have developed the technology to avoid detection from crawlers and hide the networks where they exchange information. Sixgill’s cyber intelligence platform has been developed to find where the relevant cyber criminal places are and overcome these ‘anti-crawling’ technologies in order to detect criminal activity deep within the Dark Web’s social networks”.

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