German teenager questioned in connection with government hack

January 7, 2019 | Brainwave Science

German teenager questioned in connection with government hack

SITUATION

The German Investigative police force has questioned witnesses with respect to an investigation of a hacking data breach which has affected German politicians. A 19-year-old’s home was also searched because he had contacts with the suspected hacker. Many witnesses were questioned and properties were searched. A statement by the police included the town of Heilbronn by name. A 19-year-old IT worker in Heilbronn said that investigators had contacted him. The Federal Criminal Police’s (BKA) officers searched the teenager’s house and garbage and confiscated technical equipment. The man, Jan S., had been questioned for several hours by police and is a witness in the case. He says that he knows the hacker known as “Orbit,” but that it is not him. The BKA has begun to inform those affected by the hack about 1,000 politicians and celebrities, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Jan S. had been sharing some information on the case on his own Twitter account, acknowledging that he had been in contact with the hacker responsible for the data theft. According to Jan, the hacker contacted him shortly after the hacked data was published online and threatened to destroy his computer.

Jan S. uploaded a screenshot of an email from “0rbit,” on Sunday evening, which contained the threat. The hacker deleted his account with the Telegram app, through which the duo had encrypted conversations for about two years. The leaked data included mobile phone numbers, contact info, and credit card details

CHALLENGE

So far, the police have questioned witnesses and suspects. The police will be able to proceed swiftly if they are able to extract useful information from the above persons. However, it is unfortunate that no existing technique is good enough to deal with cyber-crime.

Practically, everybody uses the internet in one way or the other. Not every internet user is informed and ready to guard themselves against cyber-crime which is a now a serious threat to governments, private companies and the general public. Also, a majority of government services in most of the countries around the world have shifted to digital platforms. Prominent personalities use the internet and social media to connect with the general public. Consequently, the public and politicians have to use the internet sometimes, not out of choice, but out of compulsion.

Cyber-criminals are always two steps ahead from the general public finds.  Once a cyber-criminal or a hacker has access to personal data through a ‘data breach’, they can misuse this data. The data breach of important persons is a matter of grave concern. Cyber-crime in general, ranges from data theft, financial extortion and internet bomb threats to cyber bullying, harassment, password trafficking, personal data hacking, copyright violations, software piracy, weapon trafficking, child pornography, credit-card theft, email, phishing, virus spreading, etc.

It can be agreed upon that, it is very difficult to catch hold of cyber criminals. Investigating agencies will benefit greatly with a modern and accurate method to deal with cyber-crime.

WHY BRAIN FINGERPRINTING?

The BKA have had reasons to believe that witnesses and suspects are likely to be aware of a great deal of information about the data breach. If yes, their brains definitely contain cognition of the activities related to the data breach. This information cannot be extracted through techniques which are currently being used. BKA police are interested in unearthing the person who hides behind the moniker ‘0rbit’. They are also working to confirm the guilt, if any, of the suspects and witnesses. The hacker may have hidden him/herself behind many fake domains (websites), computers, IP addresses and is most likely  to be involved in other cyber crimes. It is also possible that 0rbit is just a name used by multiple persons who are responsible for the data breach. In other words, there may be many more who are involved in causing such huge damage. The traditional tools available to investigators, like DNA and fingerprints are not quite applicable in cyber-crime. Cyber-criminals can be based out of anywhere on the globe and are extremely good at covering their identities and tracks.

Brainwave Science has developed the answer to this quagmire. The answer lies in a sophisticated software called Brain Fingerprinting which can be used on these suspects and witnesses. Brain Fingerprinting is designed for investigative agencies which wish to move beyond traditional investigative methods.  Brain Fingerprinting can help different types of crime-fighting agencies, because it is customizable, It is applicable to 85 % of civil and criminal cases. Thus it not only helps Law Enforcement but also other disciplines such as National Security, Immigration Control, Counter-Terrorism, Border Security and Human and Drug trafficking. The subject’s brains cannot be-fool this test, unlike the polygraph test.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to solving a crime using Brain Fingerprinting. Brain Fingerprinting can determine if the subject has witnessed, planned or executed a specific crime. Evidence related to the crime which the law enforcement agencies have gathered is presented to the suspects undergoing the test, in the form of words, phrases or pictures. Their brain responses reveal if the subject has awareness of the particular stimuli. This can be used to not only confirm or disprove a person’s involvement, but also to establish the degree of their involvement, or also their rank in a criminal network.

In the case of the data breach, the suspects and witnesses can be presented with a host of stimuli related to the data breach. This data can include the online IDs of the people whose data was breached, the breached data, the names/logos of the institutions such as banks etc to which this data was related. The list is endless.

The 45 minute long test requires no interaction between the administrator of the test and the subject. Thus, the test is unaffected by the subjective opinion of the test administrator.

Brainwave Science’s Brain Fingerprinting is a modern tool which can help defeat the most modern crime, i.e. Cybercrime.  It must be used in order to augment the investigative process and equip it for the future.

Main Source: DW

Image Source: DW