ZeroFox acquires dark web threat intelligence company Vigilante

ZeroFox, a cybersecurity startup that helps companies detect risks found on social media and digital channels, has announced it has acquired dark web threat intelligence company Vigilante. 

Vigilante — not to be confused with the controversial crime reporting app — scours the dark web to source intelligence that helps to protect organizations from cyberattacks. The deal, terms of which were not announced, will see ZeroFox take on Vigilante’s global team of operatives and analysts to create “the industry’s most robust” dark web intelligence solution. 

Building on Vigilante’s decades-old dark web monitoring tools, the joint solution will combine datasets from the two companies to deliver risk intelligence on compromised credentials and botnets, network intelligence on infected and vulnerable hosts, and intelligence on threat actors and indicators of compromise (IOCs). The product, which will have ZeroFox’s AI processing capabilities baked-in, will also provide botnet exposure monitoring, threat monitoring, and client-specific investigations and incident response on threat actor engagement and asset recovery. 

“The combination of our otherwise inaccessible datasets, our team of researchers and operatives, along with ZeroFox’s scale and artificial intelligence, provides a compelling dark web intelligence service,” said Mike Kirschner, co-founder of Vigilante. 

The acquisition, which the firms claim will help better protect organizations at an even greater scale, comes amid a huge rise in criminal activity on the dark web, according to recent research. As a result of pandemic-fueled cybercrime, Risk Based Security said in its recent annual data breach report that the number of comprised records surpassed 37 billion in 2020, a 141% increase over 2019, and ransomware was up by 100%. 

“The dark web and criminal underground are critical requirements of modern threat intelligence programs,” said James C. Foster, CEO of ZeroFox. “Our customers need a clear view of the underground economy, how bots may be attacking them or if their credentials, credit cards, personally identifiable information (PII) and other information could be traded there, as well as understanding emerging tactics, exploits and vulnerabilities.

Foster said the acquisition of Vigilante increases “the scale and comprehensiveness” of its dark web intelligence gathering capabilities, which helps to protect customers’ information.

In February last year, ZeroFox announced it had raised $74 million in a Series D funding round led by Intel Capital, which it planned to use to accelerate its global expansion and product strategy. Prior to this, in 2017, the startup raised $40 million Series C led by Redline Capital Management and Silver Lake Waterman.