Friday, November 21, 2008

When Everyone Can Mine Your Data

Taylor Buley writes on

Roelof Temmingh has a knack for stirring up trouble. The 35-year-old South African electronic engineer has fought legal battles with financial institutions, developed theoretical models for cyberterrorism and served as a technical adviser for a book about how hackers could take over the continent of Africa.

But Temmingh's latest exploit could make the most last impact. He has created a tool he calls Maltego that lets just about anybody do the kind of data mining that in the past only fraud investors, government specialists and hackers typically could do. Since Temmingh released the first commercial version of Maltego this past summer, even several national intelligence agencies have made use of the software, he says.

Temmingh's software scans open data repositories on the Web and allows users to match the results with their own data. (He calls this approach "open-source intelligence.") The data are then graphically depicted. The commercial version of Maltego lets users save these visualizations in popular data formats like XML so the information can be used by other programs.

More here.

Hat-tip: Pogo Was Right


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