Australia: Adelaide cyber sleuths win the National Missing Persons Hackathon with almost 100 new leads - - PressFrom - Australia
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Australia Adelaide cyber sleuths win the National Missing Persons Hackathon with almost 100 new leads

15:35  18 october  2019
15:35  18 october  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

Police turn to hackers in Australia's first crowdsourced attempt to find missing people

  Police turn to hackers in Australia's first crowdsourced attempt to find missing people Several hundred online enthusiasts generate thousands of leads for investigators after a single day of competitive 'ethical hacking' across Australia.But with more than 2,600 Australians now listed as a "long-term" disappearance, the federal police are trying what they hope will be a more successful tactic: turning the search into a game.

Twelve missing persons will be selected from existing National Missing Person Coordination Centre cases for participants to collect OSINT on, and to generate new leads . Adelaide - 28 Leigh Street, Adelaide City. Brisbane - TAFE Queensland, Southbank Campus, 66 Ernest Street, South Brisbane.

The National Missing Persons Hackathon was run by the AustCyber Canberra Innovation Node, which partnered with the Australian Federal Police, the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre and Trace Labs: a nonprofit with a mission of crowdsourcing open-source intelligence (OSINT) and

a group of people posing for the camera: Andrew Bailey, Ben Cornish, Adam McHugh and Luke Smith from Saab Australia placed first in the National Missing Persons Hackathon. (Supplied: Saab Australia)© Provided by Australian Broadcasting Corporation Andrew Bailey, Ben Cornish, Adam McHugh and Luke Smith from Saab Australia placed first in the National Missing Persons Hackathon. (Supplied: Saab Australia)

A group of cyber sleuths from Adelaide has taken out the national missing persons "hackathon", finding nearly 100 new pieces of information for police to investigate.

The team from Saab Australia placed first out of 96 teams which took part in the National Missing Persons Hackathon last week.

The event was the first of its kind to be held in Australia and saw more than 350 "ethical hackers" gather at 10 locations around the country to generate leads for 12 of Australia's missing-person cold cases.

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The hackers participated in the National Missing Persons Hackathon (part of Australian Cyber Week 2019) to find new leads & help the police. Linda Cavanagh, Manager of the Canberra Cyber Security Innovation Node stated that they are trying to take searching for missing persons to the next level

Eventbrite - AustCyber - Canberra Cyber Security Innovation Node presents National Missing Persons Hackathon 2019 - Friday Actions and Detail Panel. National Missing Persons Hackathon 2019. All leads generated on the missing person cases will be handed to the National Missing

Similar events have been held in the United States and Canada and have led to missing-persons' cases being solved.

The Adelaide team found 97 new pieces of information about the cold cases which will be provided to police to investigate.

Team member Ben Cornish said social media provided the biggest opportunities to hunt down new information.

"A key part of our strategy was going in and identifying any reference on various social media, so Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, any of those profiles where there may have been mention of the missing person, the events surrounding the disappearance or anything else that might have been connected to that person," he said.

"It was really interesting, the comments we found, particularly on Facebook articles or on news articles online, and that may be information about people who knew the missing person or who had seen them on the last day."

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The Australian Federal Police (AFP) National Missing Persons Coordination Centre (NMPCC) is shining a spotlight on Australia’s long Annually, National Missing Persons Week strives to create awareness throughout the wider Australian community, targeting those who have never thought

The hackathon marks National Cyber Week and Stay Smart Online Week, with the AustCyber Canberra Node, the Australian Federal Police, National Missing Persons Coordination Centre and Trace Labs partnering to conduct a missing person capture the flag (CTF) event.

Mr Cornish said the assumption there would be more information on social media about the more recent cases did not always ring true.

"It was potentially a case of the younger people being more conscious of the information they are putting out and having appropriate protections and restrictions around it that made it difficult," he said.

"[In] some of the older cases it was interesting because the people themselves didn't necessarily have a social media profile but a social media post, whether it be Facebook or Twitter, had been put up relating to them that a lot of other people had commented on."

Information is all publicly available, just hard to find

All of the information sourced is publicly available, with hackathon participants using sophisticated but legal methods of trawling the internet.

"It's all information that is out there on the internet, available for anybody to find, but isn't necessarily easy to find," Mr Cornish said.

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Hackers and cyber sleuths around the country today are using their skills to uncover new leads in missing persons cases.pic.twitter.com/8FF8F6XY0B. The world's first National Missing Persons Hackathon kicks off today. Ethical hackers will analyse freely available open source intelligence to

Missing Irish People missing .ie. Have you seen someone? Please contact us with your information. Looking for someone? We are here to help you. Cork City Missing Persons S.A.R are liaising with The National Missing Persons Helpline who have joined forces with Deliveroo to display Read more >.

"One of the keys is just being naturally inquisitive and wondering where that one piece of information will take you or will lead."

In total, 3,912 new leads were found during the hackathon to be passed onto police.

Some of the leads included multiple aliases of missing persons, secondary social media accounts, licence plate numbers for vehicles, secret email addresses and travel agency accounts.

One group also found drone footage of an area from where one of the missing people disappeared.

Hackathon subjects disappeared in past 12 years

The 12 missing-person cases which were the subject of the hackathon were:

  • Tanya Buckland — who was last seen at Warwick, Queensland in August 2013.
  • Peter English — who was last seen at Tennant Creek, NT in February 2019.
  • David John Mansell — who was last seen at Bowden, SA in May 2019.
  • Jean Policarpio — who was last seen at Bonner, ACT in September 2017.
  • Anthony Popic — who was last seen at Nannup, WA in July 2007.
  • Gary Felton — who was last seen at Nannup, WA in July 2007.
  • Peter Koever — who was last seen at Girraween, NT in December 2009.
  • Rebecca Hayward — who was last seen at Alice Springs, NT in January 2017.
  • Zac Barnes — who was last seen at Thornton, NSW in November 2016.
  • Theo Hayez — who was last seen at Byron Bay, NSW in May 2019.
  • Tej Chitnis — who was last seen at Healesville, Victoria in April 2016.
  • Nazrawi Woldemichael — who was last seen at North Hobart, Tasmania in October 2016.

Australia Is Facing A Looming Cyber Emergency, And We Don’t Have The High-Tech Workforce To Counter It .
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This is interesting!