Following the success of its conference, Deep Web Demystified: A Journey Through the Hidden Internet, Brasidas Group sponsored its first hackathon, titled Hacking in the Dark, at Belgrade’s StartIt Center on 31 March 2017. Eight teams participated in the 48-hour event with the objective of developing innovative solutions to address the challenges of gathering information from the Deep web and Darknet and turning this into actionable intelligence. 

Brasidas Group CEO Andrej Bastar and Chief of Global Research Anthony Iglesias formed part of the mentorship team that provided guidance throughout the event.  As Andrej explained to the teams at the event kickoff:

“Threats range from the acquisition and trade of illegally obtained Intellectual Property from technology companies, jihadist activities against oil and gas companies, and widespread fraudulent insurance claims made with stolen identities, among others.  Although penetration testers and systems administrators work tirelessly to establish defenses against these threats, even the best firewalls can be hacked.  The only solution is a proactive approach to monitor and identify threats before they happen, and turn information into actionable intelligence in order to maximize awareness and minimize risk.”

The teams worked tirelessly to develop solutions, such as combining big data and predictive analysis in order to identify potential triggers in global political and economic events; analyzing chatter that gives momentum to social upheavals (e.g. the Arab Spring); and engaging in sentiment analysis to see where markets may be moving.  These teams worked toward the ultimate goal of identifying information today, before it becomes a headline in tomorrow’s news.  Plenty of energy drinks, snacks, and catered meals were on hand, as well as comfortable sofas and pillows, in order to ensure that the teams had everything they needed to work on their solutions throughout the event. 

At the end of the hackathon, eight impressive solutions were presented by the teams, ranging from geotagging dark net websites, creating machine learning tools that analyze forum chatter, to tracking Bitcoin transactions in the Deep web and creating a mobile app to search the Darknet.  The jury, made up of industry experts and Brasidas Group members, was duly impressed, and agreed that the most difficult part of the event was choosing a winner. After difficult deliberation, Team Satoshi Corp. won the hackathon with a modular solution that would allow for monitoring forums, tracing Bitcoin transactions, and searching the Deep web.  Teams Sudo and 515 walked out with second and third place, respectively.

Brasidas Group will be working with select members from the winning teams in our efforts to develop a full-fledged platform that will be able to search the Deep web,  helping identify potential threats to clients. As Brasidas Group COO Christian Ruehling stated:

“Our goal is to develop a competitive advantage with the development of innovative approaches to the deep web research. We truly believe in the IT sector in Serbia and its potential, and we will continue investing in the sector through numerous activities planned in the future with our partner, StartIt Center.”  

Brasidas Group would like to thank its partners at Startit Center, without whom this event would not have been as successful as it was.

We firmly believe that the value of intelligence gathering is in the combination of human and cyber intelligence, and we look forward to helping bring the two closer together to better serve our clients.


About Brasidas Group AG

Brasidas Group AG is an independent, international business intelligence and risk assessment consultancy headquartered near Zürich, Switzerland, and with offices in Belgrade, Serbia and New Jersey, U.S.A. The group offers premium, customized services that are based on tenets of discretion, reliability, and timeliness in delivering actionable information. Brasidas Group specializes in providing public and private sector clients with business intelligence and risk assessment solutions for effective strategic planning in the international marketplace, leveraging proven research methods and strong human intelligence capabilities supported by the enabling of technology platforms. It offers clients a competitive advantage by placing a strategic information-gathering network at their disposal. With these resources on hand, clients are able to make informed decisions with confidence. Most importantly, Brasidas Group operates with complete discretion, as maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of clients and sources is a priority.