Interpol Held a Dark Market War Game Using its Own Cryptocurrency

Interpol held an interactive training seminar in Singapore last month that utilized an internally developed cryptocurrency and a mock dark market.

Aug 13, 2015 at 9:05 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 11:49 a.m. UTC

International police organisation Interpol held an interactive training seminar in Singapore last month that utilized an internally developed cryptocurrency and a mock dark market.

The organization's Global Complex for Innovation (GCI) developed the cryptocurrency to use for modelling use cases related to cybercrime. At the time, GCI suggested that it would come to be used in subsequent trainings, the first of which saw 24 participants from law enforcement agencies from around the world.

Countries represented included Australia, France, Ghana, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Turkey.

CoinDesk spoke with GCI researcher Christian Karam, who said that the exercise – conducted between 27th and 31st July – was the first of several planned events.

A training to be held in Brussels is scheduled for November, with future trainings planned to be conducted in the US and elsewhere.

Karam said that participants played a variety of roles during the game. These included law enforcement officials, dark market operators, vendors, buyers and scammers.

Specific exercises, according to the agency’s release on the training, included mock penetrations of dark web markets to practice searching for vulnerabilities.

The goal, said Karam, was to promote a general understanding of how these ecosystems work:

“We took great care in explaining the concepts in such a manner that police officers do not feel alienated by darknet, bitcoin or cryptocurrencies in general and look more towards accepting these innovations as part of the Internet and try to incorporate them in their daily strategies and tactics.”

Karam said the session produced several notable insights that will impact future trainings. He pointed out that it was initially thought that dark web usage was primarily focused on North America and Europe – a perception he said was changed after conferring with officials from other parts of the world.

“From what we learned most importantly from the group that was trained is that everyone has truly suffered in some way or another and all the countries have pending cases to be solved,” he said.

Chess image via Shutterstock

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