Security Program Controls/Technologies, Data Security, Security Management

Cybercrime Victims Can Turn to New Nonprofit, Intelligence for Good

Intelligence for Good is a new nonprofit organization formed with the purpose of making the internet a cyber-safe place for all and to ensure cybercriminals fear the impact of scamming people.

Founded by cyber industry veterans Gary WarnerRobin Pugh and Ronnie Tokazowski, Intelligence for Good uses data collected from victims, industry and open sources to conduct analysis and investigation of cybersecurity incidents.

Accordingly, the organization aims to expose the individuals and networks behind cybercrimes while empowering legal teams with needed information to pursue cases against perpetrators.

“Most victims of internet-enabled crimes suffer without hope of recovery or justice, and face devastating financial and emotional loss,” said Pugh, Executive Director of Intelligence for Good and CEO of DarkTower. “The Intelligence for Good team is dedicated to rewriting the endings of these stories and preventing others from falling victim to these scams.”

The Intelligence for Good Mission

Intelligence for Good is focused on the following initiatives:

  • Identifying criminal typologies and emerging techniques used to commit scams.
  • Providing legal teams with the resources needed to identify the appropriate path for either civil or criminal prosecution and prepare for and expedite the prosecution of criminals to ensure that all options for disruption and recovery are pursued.
  • Supplementing the efforts of law enforcement, who are outnumbered in addressing the volume of crimes committed against individual citizens, with additional investigation resources.
  • Connecting victims to respected resources for support and recovery so they know they are not alone and can provide valuable information that will contribute to the process of justice.

Hearing the Voices of Cybercrime Victims

Intelligence for Good asserts that there are many factors that make it difficult to resolve online scams. These include siloed reporting of individual crimes where one agency does not share information with another. As such, law enforcement jurisdiction challenges manifest when cybercrimes cross state and international borders.

As Pugh explained, “We are building a sustainable ecosystem of justice that listens to the voices of victims, investigates how these crimes work, trains cybercrime intelligence analysts and legal professionals with an investigative mindset, and works toward disruption in concert with law enforcement.”

Warner, who serves as director of intelligence at both Intelligence for Good and DarkTower, adds, “Most of these crimes have no natural predator, meaning they can be conducted with practically no risk to the perpetrator. The social media platforms and dating apps being used to facilitate these crimes have no incentive to take down fraudulent profiles, especially when the total number of user accounts contributes to a site’s revenue performance and is tied to their shareholder value.”

Building a Data Wall of Defense

Intelligence for Good notes that it expands on the work of proprietary social media analysis tools created by Warner, as well as the data collection of a 500-plus member Business Email Compromise (BEC) Working Group started by Tokazowski more than a decade ago.

Today, this effort includes terabytes of data on terrorist/extremist groups, cyber and financial criminals, traffickers, transnational organized criminal groups, BEC attacks and the mule accounts leveraged to cash out their funds. Data contributed by victims, nonprofits, banks and other corporations on a variety of internet-enabled crimes is included as well.

With a framework in place to effectively collect, preserve and analyze this data for the purposes of identifying criminals and their networks, Intelligence for Good claims it can spot websites, emerging methodologies and techniques being used to commit scams.

Further validating its work, Intelligence for Good received an October 2023 Gula Tech Foundation grant competition for supporting the National Cybersecurity Strategy pillar of disrupting threat actors.

If You’re a Cybercrime Victim…

Intelligence for Good said it is actively vetting and partnering with trusted victim support advocate organizations that are highly trained and capable of providing direct support to victims. Crime victims will be referred to those partners for support, and those partners will provide critical data back to Intelligence for Good for further analysis and investigation, the organization said.

If you or someone you know was the victim of an internet-enabled crime, contact Intelligence for Good.

Jim Masters

Jim Masters is Managing Editor of MSSP Alert, and holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. His career has spanned governmental and investigative reporting for daily newspapers in the Northwest Indiana Region and 16 years in a global internal communications role for a Fortune 500 professional services company. Additionally, he is co-owner of the Lake County Corn Dogs minor league baseball franchise, located in Crown Point, Indiana. In his spare time, he enjoys writing and recording his own music, oil painting, biking, volleyball, golf and cheering on the Corn Dogs.