In the news | Finance et investissement | Mark data like bank notes to flush out cybercrime

By Risk Performance and Technology group

Original, as it appears on Finance et Investissement –

In films, gangsters are regularly caught because the stolen bank notes were marked. Well, you could do the same thing with your data.

In one of my columns a few months ago, I addressed the possibility of our data or our identity being exposed on the dark web. If you’ve been following my columns closely, you undoubtedly rushed to visit BreachAlarm to check if your personal email account or the accounts of family members had been compromised.

Now, on to the next step

So, what can you do to make a gangster’s life more complicated? It’s important to know that when you create an account on the Internet, you can also create “detectors” that determine if your identity has been compromised.

There are several ways to do this.

  • You can create an alias for your main email account and add the first 3 or 4 letters of the service for which you use the email. For example, for Amazon or for Facebook. This way, if one of your identities is the subject of a breach, you can delete the alias in question, which will certainly be the target of a lot of spam. Then, change your password for the Internet service or the website on which you used your alias. You can also suggest to your friends and family that use this same Internet service that they monitor their own identity.
  • You can use the mailing address secondary fields to add a mark. For example, 11 City Street, Apt. 1 – #ama (for Amazon, for example). This way, if your mailing data is stolen, you’ll be able to determine where the theft or the unauthorized selling of your personal data originated. There will be a flood of ads marked with this little add-on and, if you rigorously apply the methodology, the proof of where the compromise originated will be practically irrefutable.

You can apply these same methods to your corporate data. In this way, you can create fake data to identify the sources or the ways in which information is leaked. The different search links created on the dark web allows one to generate a keen interest in this fake information and to create useless “noise” in the approach used by cybercriminals.


The goal is not to identify or expose these criminals, but to better understand the risk of your sensitive data being disseminated. Criminals are interested first and foremost in identities. Giving a fake or a marked identity to a criminal looking to remain anonymous provides them with a clown’s mask to hide behind.