Having submitted an Expert Comment to Information Security Buzz, I have taken some time to extend this into a blog. As I said, having had some enforced downtime in 2019, it was a great opportunity and privilege to take up an invitation to attend the Paliscope offices located in Gothenburg, Sweden. The overall purpose of the visit was to take part in a collaboration project, and to gain insight into the evolution development plans to enhance their great investigative tool, as well as to take a first look at some of their exciting new products which will hit the market later this year. However, for those who are unfamiliar with Paliscope tool, please allow me to enlighten. Palsicope is in my opinion one of the most highly functional investigative tools available on the market today and is unique in its field. In a nutshell, Paliscope is a powerful investigative tool which is today in use with Law Enforcement Agencies and Commercial Security Operatives all over the world in support of their on-line investigations. In my opinion, the reason why this tool is such a leader in its field is, Paliscope is enabled with a range of powerful features which enable the investigator with the capabilities to handle individual cases in a contemporaneous manner, providing the user of the tool with the ability to quickly and effectively transform meaningless data and information, into meaningful case intelligence. As an image example, below is my own installation at the current release of 19.1.1 shown at Fig 1:
Fig 1 – Paliscope Interface
There are far too many features in this tool to fully document in this small article, but to give the reader a taster, the functionality ranges from the ability to track multiple on-line investigations (cases), to acquire, collect, and collate intelligence in the form of say web pages, and offers the functionality to extract EXIF (Extended Image Information) and Geolocation data, which in turn may be used to conduct a wider internet traversal, seeking any other like-for-like associated objects related to the acquired source artifact. However, when it comes to the importance of corroboration of the investigative actions taken, Paliscope enforces a robust mandated read-only Audit function of all the activities conducted under the overarch of the investigation. For my own purpose and use, this is a tool I can strongly recommend for any Law Enforcement Agencies, Commercial Security Teams, or even those HR departments who have need to conduct investigations or other relational due diligence activities. I personally have also found this tool invaluable in the classroom with Digital Forensics Training courses I have provided in the UAE (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Saudi Arabia), and in Malaysia (KL) – for more information about Paliscope please visit their site at:
So, I expect there may be some readers who are wondering what are the practical implementations of such a tool? Well, consider the current level of posed danger lurking in the wings of the Internet. In the case of Law Enforcement, such a tool as this is employed to investigate cases which relate to the distribution of Pedophile materials, where the functionality as described above may be employed to acquire and analyze an artifact in order to identify some logical relationship between, people, devices, or locations – providing the investigator with the power to track down those who earn their living out of abuse, and the trade of human misery. I have also observed the same style of functionality employed to track and trace organized crime activities involved in the dark trade of Human Trafficking, and the movement and control leveraged over humans who sadly had fallen into the hands of their dark-trade criminal masters. Again, it is here where the power of Paliscope can support such investigations to track down and acquire intelligence on such illicit multi-million $ global operations which again trade on human misery at locations from the UK, to Bangkok, from India, to Turkey and the Netherlands – the world would seem to be at an unfettered juncture where criminal gangs seem to be able to travel the world with complete freedom.
On the personal experience front, I have encountered the presence of, what would seem to have been forced prostitution in Malaysia – amazingly enough in the center of Kuala Lumpur in a smart looking part of the City within a stones-throw from the famous tourist area of the Petronas Twin Towers – here this social problem would seem to have been tolerated in public view! I have also observed the same toleration in those countries where religion is at the very corner stone of their society – again, where obvious trade is being offered in some of the smartest hotels in town – yet again, in the view of selective blindness of hotel staff and management.
One of my most depressing cases I have encountered was the case of over 20+ girls from the African subcontinent being hooked into applying for a very well paid position advertised on the Internet – all under 25 years of age, all successful applications, and all of which disappeared into the hands of global crime syndicates – McMafia at first hand.
Moving to a more positive observation of a most credible accolade is to be made to the teams based in these Gothenburg offices is their long-standing commitment to making the Internet a safer place under the collocated missions run out of Safer Society (https://www.safersociety.com/contact/), the associated NetClean Team, and of course Griffeye all of which are concerned with the digital investigations, and of the protection of children and exposed persons from exploitation and abuse. At Fig 2 below is their very well-planned, spacious offices located in Gothenburg:
Fig 2 – Teams Accommodation
I mentioned above, whilst visiting the offices in Gothenburg, I was also lucky enough to take a look at some of the Paliscope Teams future product releases, and was simply blown away by the quality, functionality and the suggested pricing structure of, what will be highly functional and very powerful tools – I would like to tell you more, but as for now my lips must be sealed so just watch their site for more updated information.
As a conclusion, for myself I came back home from my visit enriched with the knowledge that there are still companies out there who are highly motivate and concerned about Internet safety, which I can attest in this case goes well beyond the financial bottom line. Agreed, every commercial organization is in business to make money, but every so often you meet a special business who are also investing in research, and who are contributing to the global security mission to secure our world of logical spaces – well done to all concerned, and long may your work continue.