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OWL Cybersecurity Announces Darknet Index Ranking Government Agencies by Darknet Footprint

The Darknet Index: U.S. Government Edition measures the darknet exposure of 59 large divisions of the U.S. Government


OWL Cybersecurity, a Denver-based cybersecurity company offering the world’s largest commercially available database of darknet data, today announced the upcoming release of The Darknet Index: U.S. Government Edition, ranking 59 agencies by exposed data on the darknet and security threat levels.
To compile the index, OWL Cybersecurity ran each government agency through its proprietary OWL Vision database, focusing on specific darknets for matches on each company’s website and email domains. OWL Cybersecurity then further adjusted the results based on computations of “hackishness"— a proprietary algorithmic rating system which delivers scores based on the likelihood that data could be used for nefarious intent and how recently the data was made available, with recent breaches or data leaks containing an organization’s proprietary information given the most weight.
Having recently reranked the Fortune 500 on this basis, OWL Cybersecurity examined the U.S. Government to see whether its agencies have a markedly different darknet footprint than previously released indices.
“These results are not encouraging given the amount of money the [U.S.] government spends on cybersecurity,” said Mark Turnage, CEO of OWL Cybersecurity. “With higher darknet footprint scores than even the largest commercial sectors, it is critical that these agencies look at the darknet as a key component of a complete information security program.”
Preliminary insights from the index include:

  • The U.S. Navy leads the Index. It has the most extensive darknet footprint of all of the government agencies examined.
  • The U.S. Government scored worse than expected as compared to the largest U.S. companies. The U.S. Government averaged 1.6 points higher than the average Fortune 500 company, meaning that the government has a comparably larger amount of darknet exposure.
  • Military and defense groups overall are the largest target, closely followed by Cabinet agencies. A target’s attractiveness stems from the desirability of its protected information. Whether personal or proprietary, it would appear that the groups more closely linked to defense have data that cyber criminals find attractive.

Based on the results of OWL Cybersecurity’s Government Darknet Index, it is apparent that the company’s approach is a key factor in a complete information security approach. This tactic also offers a glimpse into the sheer volume of information available on the darknet, confirming that no company or organization is without risk on the darknet — not even cybersecurity organizations. Analyzing and monitoring darknet data is an integral part of a complete cybersecurity program, allowing organizations to quickly detect security gaps and mitigate damage prior to the misuse of their compromised data.
OWL Cybersecurity is based in Denver, Colorado and provides darknet threat intelligence data and services to allow companies and organizations to understand and mitigate their own digital risks. OWL Cybersecurity’s data platform allows companies to see in real-time the theft, breach, or other compromise of their proprietary data on the darknet, thus allowing them to both mitigate damage prior to the information being misused and to highlight gaps in their cybersecurity perimeter. This database is believed to be the largest database of darknet content available to commercial users. OWL Cybersecurity complements this with a full range of cybersecurity consulting services, including security assessments, penetration testing, application and code review, incident response, and digital forensics. For more information, visit



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