TORONTO – It’s not every day that the police appeal to the hacking community to help investigate a wide-scale hacking incident.
Because much of the Ashley Madison data leak unfolded on the dark web, it makes sense that authorities are appealing to “good” hackers who may have engaged with those behind the leak to come forward. However, according to cyber security expert Chris Parsons, it could have major implications.
“Such hackers possess a technical skill set and may use it to analyze leaked data or to try and track down or identify those suspected for leaking the Ashley Madison data,” said Parsons.
“The danger…is that in hunting for suspected leakers some parties may act beyond, or outside, the law in an attempt to help authorities. In the course of behaving this way they might actually endanger the investigation’s legitimacy or even compromise legitimate evidence.”
Parsons added that without a clearer set of ‘terms of engagement,’ police could bring on further investigations into those “recruited” to help them – putting a strain on resources and risking the integrity into the investigation into the Ashley Madison data breach.