Case Study

State Police Service, Fraud and Corporate Crime Group

(Computer Crime Investigation Unit).

The Brief

A threat was made against an Australian state police service that included an attack against its online resources and the publishing of officers’ database information. This threat, if carried out, would have cost the state millions of dollars in threat mitigation efforts; as well as severely compromising the safety and operational standing of active members.

Our team’s brief was to use the limited intelligence the Police Service had available to identify threat originator from anonymous personas and online accounts he had created. The Police Service had made no headway in more than 10 days.

The Outcome

Using the NexusMyst application, our team was able to:

1. Positively identify operational personas and true identities of the key participants, resolve network infrastructure, geolocation and other identifying details. The lead hacker was identified within three hours.

2. Map additional communications channels and methodologies used by associated personas.

3. Identify a nest of HACTivists in the form of a group of 1000+ friends within an obscure social networking platform, used for covert communications and private messaging, outside of mainstream and highly scrutinized social networking platforms. This discovery was a mother lode of intelligence.

4. Recover and rebuild an archive of communications conducted and exchanged by the key perpetrator, in effect recovering deleted communications, retrieving conversations, believed to have been private, and collecting existing public communications.

5. Create a walk-through “cheat sheet” for Police Service personnel which essentially reduced our work product to only the essential investigation steps by eliminating the superfluous elements. In doing so a sworn officer was able to duplicate the intelligence gathering and evidence preservation steps required to positively identify the key perpetrator and inexorably link all relevant communications to that individual. Thus enabling the officer to testify under oath as necessary to obtain warrants, and eventually testify before the jury, rather than requiring our investigators to go public with methods and involvement.

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