Web Bait to Misery

1929

The Internet is a wonderful thing, and since its conception it has brought joy to millions of people in the form of extended communication networks, education, on-line shopping, employment and opportunities. Reaching out to far-flung corners of the global community which once would have been neglected by their domicile locality. In fact, one may conclude, it has been the remote locations, hidden deep within the sub continents of our planet which have benefited most from the tentacles of the Internet reaching out to such remote locations. But sadly, these tentacles are also leveraging the opportunity of adversity and dark-trading, seeking to phish with the baited hook of promise, with the hidden intent of compromise and conjoined exploitation.

I am very lucky in my professional world of offering training services to work in locations such as Dubai, and far reaching corners such as Pakistan and India, where I meet people face-to-face from diverse cultures, presenting me with a first-hand encounter of what the colour of life looks like within their own communities back-yard. It was in October 2016 when I was fortunate enough to meet a lady from Rwanda called Grace, who shared with me an horrific circumstance which has seen young female residents of here community disappear into the darker side of the Interment – assuming the prospect of Human Trafficking and exploitation, and the potential trade of individuals to fund activities such as crime, and terrorism – and I promised Grace I would do what could to help expose this cruel trade – so please read on.

As I said at the start of this article the Internet offers many positives to its subscribing base of users. However as with all such opportunities there will be those with criminal intent who will utilise this vast platform to their own imaginative end – with attacks to manifest the end criminal objective – which in this sad case is by a hook baited with promise of a new future and prospects. The objective here to compromise and attract people into a locality which will then see them captured and packaged for entry into a world of dark-trading.

In this case our attackers publish a well-constructed/attractive web site offering jobs and promise of working opportunities and positions to a target audience who may be living on the edge of survival – in this case young females who are seeking a better life and prospects. Our applicants go on line to the Web Site, set up a conversation, and apply for a post, in hopes that they will be accepted. The next step is awaiting to see if their application has been successful, at which time the interested party receives an invite to attend a location to take up the offer of whatever opportunity has been agreed. And then good news arrives. The application has been successful, so they pack their bags, wave goodbye to their families with promise of being in touch soon – and that is the ‘last’ time they are seen, disappearing into the dark world into which they have been enticed.

I observed with interest on the evening of 3 January 2017 that that People Trafficking was the subject of a Silent Witness episode, which seemed to lean toward the sad circumstance in which trafficked Humans were left in the back of a truck to die! However, in this case I am writing about, this is not a story from the screen of the Cinema or TV, but is real life and real people – who one may only conclude are to be consumed for purpose of Human Trafficking, and possibly other industries who see people as their raw materials for satisfying their trade. And this is happening today, right under our noses, with the ‘products’ in some cases making it onto our shores!

But take back the covers, and look deeper at this industry. It is strongly linked to the world of Cyber Crime which has evolved to maximise it financial gain. However, it has also morphed into an easy opportunity which may be leveraged by terrorist organisations, who may then redirect their capital gains into other sources of funding to further attack mankind – this is a vicious circle which must be broken.

Here, in the first instance all I can do is play my part of educating onward this cruel and brutal crime in hopes it will save someone from pressing their keyboard to enter a life of potential abuse. I am also hopeful that some who read this will have more global influence than I, and will look to raise the subject of my primer-article on to agencies who can look to address this abuse, and the related abusers.

For me however, it does not end here – in 2017 I will be looking to see just what ‘I’ can do to add my weight to this battle. To seek out support, and raise a global fire under this subject which will hopefully make a dent in this sad and cruel trade – looking to see those who are behind this dark trade to enter their own world of legitimate incarceration.

About Professor John Walker
john_walkerVisiting Professor at the School of Science and Technology at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), Visiting Professor/Lecturer at the University of Slavonia [to 2015], Independent Consultant, Practicing Expert Witness, ENISA CEI Listed Expert, Editorial Member of the Cyber Security Research Institute (CRSI), Fellow of the British Computer Society (BCS), Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (RSA), Board Advisor to the Digital Trust, Writer for SC Magazine UK, Originator of DarkWeb Threat Intelligence, CSIRT, Attack Remediation and Cyber Training Service/Platform, Accreditation Assessor and Academic Practitioner and Accredited Advisor to the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences in the area of Digital/Cyber Forensics.
Twitter: @SBLTD 
John Walker is also our Expert Panel member.  To find out more about our panel members visit the biographies page.
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