DarkOwl 2023 Recap: A Quick Reflection & Updates

December 28, 2023

With 2023 at a close, our content and marketing teams reflect on a number of exciting events, trends and changes the DarkOwl team experienced this year. We look forward to an even more successful and prosperous 2024 and wish the same for all our customers, partners and readers! Thank you for your support over the past year and continuing to read, engage and share our content. We hope you continue to find the topics we cover valuable, enlightening and interesting. Last marketing plug of the year… don’t forget to sign up for our weekly newsletter to make sure you receive updates about latest from our research and content teams! 

DarkOwl Around the World

Trade Shows and Events

DarkOwl made the rounds this year traveling all over the world for trade shows and speaking sessions and we are so glad to be able to see our customers, partners, and prospects face to face. In 2023, the team attended several events all around the world from San Francisco, Las Vegas, New Orleans, National Harbor, Panama City, London, Prague, Paris, Vienna, Munich, Singapore, Dubai, Hyberbad, Haryana, and more. Thank you to everyone who sat down with DarkOwl along the way. We hope to see even more you on the road in 2024. Check out where we will be in 2024 and request time to meet here.

DarkOwl CFO and DarkOwl FZE CEO at CyberTech Global in Tel Aviv.
DarkOwl CEO at the G-20 Conference in Gurugram, Haryana, India.
DarkOwl CBO, Director of Client Engagement and Project Engineer & Data Analyst at OsmosisCon in New Orleans, LA.
DarkOwl Director of Strategic Partnerships in Lille, France at FIC.

Darknet Hands-On Labs

DarkOwl hosted two darknet hands-on labs for the first time this year. In July, we hosted “Explore the Darknet with DarkOwl” at the Carahsoft headquarters in Reston, VA. Attendees got access to DarkOwl Vision and got to conduct hands-on searches during a Scavenger Hunt. DarkOwl’s industry leading Vision UI provides access to the largest commercially available database of darknet content in the world, without having to access the darknet directly, so you can take action to prevent potentially devastating cybersecurity incidents. After an afternoon of learning about the darknet and diving into it, attendees enjoyed networking during happy hour.

Our next hands-on lab, we hosted with Blackbird.AI at the Carahsoft headquarters in Reston, VA as well, “Explore Darknet Data and Beyond With DarkOwl and Blackbird.” In this session, attendees once again got direct access to DarkOwl Vision to explore the platform and conduct darknet searches in a Scavenger Hunt and see in real-time, how Blackbird’s Constellation Platform aggregates and adds color to this data. Blackbird provides the only purpose-built platform for organizations to detect, measure, and mitigate disinformation and information-driven risk. Together, get the complete picture you need for critical decision making.

The team is excited to do more of these in-person trainings, make sure you don’t miss the invite to our next one!

Employee Fun and Events

Not only did the team travel around the world for client meetings and conferences, but back in Denver, CO at Headquarters, DarkOwl had some fun too! With a workforce that is becoming more and more remote friendly and DarkOwl focusing on finding the best talent, making sure that everyone at DarkOwl stays connected is of upmost importance.

Team Offsite
Meeting our adopted owl
Meeting our adopted owl

Last year, we adopted an owl! This year we renewed that adoption and the team was lucky enough to meet our adopted great horned owl. He jumped early from his Michigan nest in 2015 and fractured his right wing in two places and was on the ground for about a week next to a barn before he was picked up by the landowners and brought to a rehabilitation center. He was sent to the Raptor Education Foundation in Denver in August, 2016 where he now lives. You can learn more about him on his dedicated adoption page. 

We love our #Pets!

Arguably, one of the most exciting things this year was the start of the DarkOwl Pets Channel! Our furry employees brought so many smiles throughout the year and of course a couple crashed meetings and plenty of naps along the way. 😻

Porter, Apollo and P.
Biscuit, Garfield, Bentley, Zooka and Lil’ Dip.
Bevy May, Bart, Sumi, Feni, Nova and Cudi.

Reminder: DarkOwl analysts and their pets recommend you never use your pet’s name in any password combination as it is a popular term for threat actors using brute force attacks.

Content, Content, Content

DarkOwl published over 110 pieces of content this year – everything from research blogs, darknet 101 topics, press releases, webinars and more. The team will be ranking the top 10 pieces in the new year. Stay tuned to make sure to see the highlights!

This year, we also launched our LinkedIn Newsletter, “Weekly Intelligence Summary: Deep and Dark Web Round Up,” which is published on LinkedIn every Monday morning and rounds up cyber news from the week prior. Keep up to date with the latest from DarkOwl Analysts every Monday – you can subscribe here.

New Products and Enhancements

DarkOwl places great emphasis on learning from customers and making sure our products are always providing value. We make a continuous effort to enhance our dark web data products with features geared towards analyst and threat intelligence teams. Below are a couple highlights of big launches we had this year, both of new products and offerings as well as feature enhancements.

DarkSonar API Launch

In April, DarkOwl added, DarkSonar API to the product suite. DarkSonar, a relative risk rating based on darknet intelligence, measures an organization’s credential exposure on the darknet. DarkSonar enables companies to model risk, understand their weaknesses and anticipate potential cyber incidents. In turn, organizations are able to take mitigating actions to protect themselves from loss of data, profits, and brand reputation.

Built on DarkOwl’s proprietary Entity dataset, DarkSonar generates a risk rating that is unique to each company. The algorithm used to generate these signals takes into account key quantitative and qualitative factors over time of organizational exposure of email addresses with associated passwords, and weights each signal accordingly. The result is a quantifiable risk indicator that can help companies and organizations monitor and potentially predict cyberattacks.

In testing internally and with beta partners in the insurtech and third-party risk industries, DarkOwl found an elevated DarkSonar score in the months before a cyberattack in approximately 75% of the cases where a company publicly acknowledged a breachDepending on the companies and the nature of the attacks this percentage was as high as 85% in some instances. This indicates that DarkSonar can help organizations assess their risk level as an additive data point – and potentially predict a pending threat.

Read more about DarkSonar API on our product page or in our interview with Director of Product, Sarah Prime and Product Manager, Josh Berman.

Darknet Services Offering

In July, DarkOwl announced the launch of Darknet Services, our customizable tailored, expert analyst support to enrich darknet data and provide customers with darknet risk analysis, threat actor profiling, darknet monitoring, data acquisition, and brand protection. For individuals who are not familiar traversing the darknet it can be a daunting task to search for threats and risks to an organization. DarkOwl is the darknet expert, with access to the largest database of darknet content. DarkOwl’s team of expert analysts are able to conduct these investigations on behalf of customers identifying mentions of organizations as well as data relating to them that may be exposed. Our customizable service options allow customers to leverage our in-house expertise to save time, keep their employees safe, and fulfill the need for actionable threat intelligence. Let us be an extension of your team.

Read more about Darknet Services on our product page or in our interview with DarkOwl Director of Intelligence, Senior Threat Analyst, and Darknet Intelligence Analyst to understand a little more about their backgrounds, why they love cyber, projects they’re working on, and some tips and tricks for new analysts. You can even see some example reports here.

Actor Explore: Your Ultimate Resource for Cyber Threat Actor Intelligence

In November, DarkOwl released “Actor Explore,” an exciting new addition to our Vision UI platform that provides invaluable insights into cyber threat actors. This feature is designed to empower security professionals, researchers, and organizations with analyst curated information about threat actors, enhancing their ability to understand and combat cybersecurity threats effectively.

In today’s digitally driven world, the landscape of cyber threats is ever-evolving and increasingly sophisticated. As businesses and individuals become more dependent on technology, the need to protect sensitive data and critical infrastructure from cyber attacks has never been more critical. One effective approach to enhancing cybersecurity is to track and monitor cyber threat actors. The actors that are responsible for conducting attacks; individuals or groups with malicious intent, often targeting organizations, governments, or individuals. Understanding why they are operating, what they hope to achieve and what methodologies they are using can assist analysts in protecting infrastructure and predicting future activities.  

With Actor Explore, users can access comprehensive threat actor information and each actor profile includes a detailed dossier, offering an in-depth overview of the threat actor. Additionally, DarkOwl analysts provide extensive information such as darknet fingerprints, targets, tools, CVEs, contact information, and more when available. Actor Explore connects this information to our other data sets, including leak sites, ransomware sites, alias, cryptocurrency, etcetera that actors are associated with. This wealth of data enables users to gain a profound understanding of the threat actors, their tactics, and the potential risks they pose.

Cyber threats are continually evolving, and so are the threat actors behind them. The collection consists of threat actors in several categories, including: state-sponsored, cybercrime-focused, ransomware groups, access brokers, exploit brokers and buyers, critical infrastructure attackers, and more. Actor Explore will be regularly updated with new information and actors, prioritizing client needs, ensuring that users have access to the latest intelligence to bolster their cybersecurity efforts and research.

You can read more about Actor Explore here and why tracking and monitoring threat actors is important in our write up here.

A Year of Growth 

2023 was exciting for the DarkOwl team, as we grow our product suite and continue to improve our current products.

One of DarkOwl’s key differentiators is our product team’s ability to respond to the needs of our clients and collect the data that matters the most to them. Last year, DarkOwl was proud to assist our national security and government partnerships by providing crucial insights into data leaks and cyber activity surrounding the war in Ukraine. This year, we are pleased to have reported on and shared insights into the Hamas and Israel conflict.

DarkOwl Announces Availability of Vision UI on AWS Marketplace

AWS Marketplace serves as a comprehensive e-commerce platform featuring thousands of software listings from independent vendors, streamlining the process from discovery to deployment of software compatible with Amazon Web Services (AWS), around the globe. This collaboration offers security teams and leaders a swift and cost-efficient avenue to harness DarkOwl’s invaluable darknet data resources utilizing their AWS account. 

Bringing DarkOwl Vision UI to the AWS Marketplace allows access to advanced threat intelligence and empowers organizations to fortify their defenses against evolving cyber threats. DarkOwl Vision UI on AWS Marketplace offers scalability, making it suitable for organizations of all sizes. Users can choose a subscription plan that aligns with their specific cybersecurity needs. 

Clients Seeing Increased Demand for Dark Web OSINT

We understand how incredibly challenging it is to maintain insight into everything the threat actors have insight into. This year, we put an emphasis on leveraging our company’s expertise in darknet technology to gather the data that allows our clients and their customers to stay ahead of potential threats.

Newly announced partnerships include: 

Don’t miss any updates from DarkOwl in 2024 and get weekly content delivered to your inbox every Thursday.

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DarkOwl is a Denver-based company that provides the world’s largest index of darknet content and the tools to efficiently find leaked or otherwise compromised sensitive data. We shorten the timeframe to detection of compromised data on the darknet, empowering organizations to swiftly detect security gaps and mitigate damage prior to misuse of their data.