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Exploring Social Media, the DarkNet and Open Sources: An interview with Social Links Cofounder and CEO Andrey Kulikov

August 05, 2020

By Sarah Evans

Social Links Cofounder and CEO Andrey Kulikov, courtesy Social Links

While much of the work done in social media is done in a public venue, it’s important to be aware that there is a DarkNet (or dark web) where people engage. It is likely not an opportunity for a brand or marketer, but with any profession, it’s important to be educated.

This interview with Social Links co-founder and CEO Andrey Kulikov digs more in depth on the topic of the DarkNet and what companies need to know.

Photo by Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash

What is the difference between information shared on social media, the DarkNet (or dark web) and “open sources”?

There is actually no difference in a broader sense. Any information available on the internet without special access rights is considered to be openly available data. The difference resides in the mechanisms applied for obtaining access to such information. Most openly available data does not require any special skills or rights to be accessed. As is the case of government registers. In order to obtain certain information about an account from social networks, it is sometimes necessary to simply know how to properly form a request to the source to get the desired information. When it comes to closed forums and DarkNet marketplaces, it is necessary to have accounts in these sources to gain access to relevant information in 99% of cases. It is also necessary to take into account the EULA (End-User_License_Agreement) for these sources. There is no EULA in case of the DarkNet, for obvious reasons. Social networks prohibit the automatic collection of data on their users for the most part, as does Facebook. But there may be different conditions on the use of information in case of open sources.

Should companies be monitoring all three areas for both opportunities and protection?

For certain. Social media is critical for monitoring brand protection and development. The DarkNet is a place where an attack on an enterprise can be planned or stolen corporate data leaks can be sold. In this case, it is extremely important to detect and respond to such an incident promptly. In most cases, social networks are the initial vector of attack on corporate infrastructures. Therefore, it is very important to monitor them and be able to investigate an incident that has already taken place, be it an attack on a brand or a regular cyber-attack. It is a matter of protection.

If we talk about the opportunities that OSINT provides to enterprises, then it is vital to remember that 90% of the information necessary for making a decision is available in the public domain and only 10% can be related to insights. It is extremely important to have both the people and the technology necessary to be able to extract and analyze information that companies and their employees post about themselves. Let me give you an …read more

Source:: Social Media Explorer