TITANIUM: Tools for the Investigation of Transactions in Underground Markets

Law Enforcement Stakeholder Workshop held in Berlin

Berlin (13 September 2017)

Due to the fact that TITANIUM aims to research, develop, deploy and validate novel data-driven techniques to support law enforcement agencies (LEAs) investigating criminal or terrorist activities involving virtual currencies and/or underground markets in the darknet, the experience and knowledge of the European LEAs in combatting cybercrime is crucially important. Their contribution to the project is guaranteed through the Associated Stakeholder Group (ASG), which is chaired by the German Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt or BKA). The ASG is a set of twelve LEA partners from ten European states, plus the European Central Bank, that have committed to support the project. The group covers a wide range of expertise on the subject: some participants are experts in investigating organized crime and Cybercrime in particular, some are specialized in the technical and forensic confiscation of data and the processing of secured data, and others are prominent in research and teaching in this regard. While some operate on a regional level, others execute central functions on a national level or, like Europol, even for all states of the European Union.

The BKA is responsible for coordinating the interaction within the group as well as between the group and individual consortium partners and for collecting the data necessary to improve investigations in the field of organized crime and Cybercrime. One could say that the BKA occupies an interface position between research and practice to ensure that the developments meet the police requirements. For this reason, the contact with the associated stakeholders has to be particularly close in order to test, improve and finally spread the new investigation tools to national and regional law enforcement offices.

Accordingly, the BKA hosted a briefing meeting in Berlin from September 12 to 13, 2017 to give the LEA representatives a clear understanding of TITANIUM as well as the opportunity to exchange experiences with the technical partners of the project. The meeting was very productive and the fruitful discussions enabled the LEA representatives to provide precise information about difficulties or limitations that can occur during cybercrime investigations. In the aftermath of the meeting, their information about police requirements was translated into technical terms in a detailed report that is meant to serve as a basis for the development of the necessary tools.