Amazon Tops Darknet Exposure Index

Amazon is the company with the largest darknet footprint according to a new ranking—which is concerning given its massive internet presence and possession of significant customer data.

The OWL Cybersecurity Darknet Index uses a proprietary algorithm to rank each Fortune 500 company based on a company's exposed data on the darknet.

The darknet is a collection of networks on the internet that are purposefully hidden, designed specifically for anonymity. Unlike the surface web (public information available to search engines) and the deep web (online information requiring credentials, like banking sites or paid firewalls), the darknet is only accessible with special tools and software. As a result, the anonymity of the darknet facilitates the exchange of large amounts of stolen and hacked data.  The presence of a company’s data on the darknet, and the extent of that presence, is one measure of cybersecurity risk.

The study revealed that every company on the Fortune 500 is exposed to some extent, but technology and telecommunications companies overall are the largest target. Those at the top of the list have credentials and/or intellectual property exposed on the darknet which can be monetized by others.

Meanwhile financial firms—frequent targets of hackers—fare better than expected, likely reflecting their focus on significant investment in cybersecurity in recent years.

“Until now, there hasn’t been an easy way to comprehensively measure a company’s presence on the darknet,” said Mark Turnage, CEO of OWL Cybersecurity. “Using our proprietary database of darknet content, combined with our hackishness algorithm, we are able to provide companies with customized Darknet Index scores that allow them to measure the efficacy of their cybersecurity efforts over time, and how they compare to other companies in similar industries.”

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