COLORADO SPRINGS — Nearly everyone is on the web, which means nearly everyone is at risk for cyber criminal activity.
“There’s just so much information that’s now on the internet,” said Andrew Hoskins, Vice President of International Programs at Exodus Road, a Colorado Springs based organization that fights to end human trafficking.
This led to Exodus Road to beef up their cyber analytics team.
“It takes multiple organizations, multiple law enforcement agencies ultimately to see what we envision to be a world in which humans are never bought and sold or exploited,” Hoskins said.
This was where Skull Games came in.
“Analysts from all over the United States in real time take leads, take potential victims or potential criminals and just develop those through searching through different tools on the internet things that are out there for everyone to see.”
Hoskins said they came to compete, but mostly to learn.
“To see some of the tools that they’re using and to come back with lots of ideas of how they could apply those tools here in the local context in Colorado.”
Tools like being able to use the wealth of information stored on the internet and be able to put together the pieces of the puzzle.
“Not doing any type of illegal spying or investigation, but really learning how to to find patterns of behavior and to find connections in networks that might lead to the identification of potential victims.”
Hoskins said even people in the community can use these types of tools.
“Are there hints that this person’s movement might be restricted? Are we seeing that phone numbers are changing regularly? Are we seeing that they that one phone number is connected to to multiple individuals? So those are some of the hints that we look at that then allows us to think maybe we need to dig a little bit deeper.”
Exodus Road said this was a partnership with an organization called All Things Possible, which hosted the games this year.