Hackers have proved they can break just about any computer network, shown by recent hacks of Sony and the like. However once data is compromised there is another challenge to face: unloading the virtual booty.
Often stolen credit card numbers, online banking credentials, e-mail logins, and Social Security numbers are released on to a sprawling network of underground chat rooms and invitation-only forums, this is where such data is bought and sold. Law enforcement investigators from around the world lurk there as well trying to catch the crooks, but with hacking incidents on the rise, the problem is far too big to police by traditional means.
Enter the modern day informant. A Texas based security firm, CSIdentity, has created artificial-intelligence software capable of posing as a hacker and engaging the crooks in the underground forums. The goal is to solicit stolen data – a hacker hoping to fence 1,000 credit card numbers will offer dozens for free to prove they’re real – and send them back to human investigators.