U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Beagle Will Sniff Out Email Fraud

NCJ Number
Becky Lewis
Date Published
January 2019
9 pages
This article announces the beta release of "Beagle," an open-source software tool that developers believe will assist with analytics and email investigations.
Developed as part of a doctoral dissertation for Jay Koven, an engineering graduate student at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering, he explains that Beagle is a "visual analytics tool that dramatically speeds up forensic email investigations and highlights critical links within email data." A November 2018 press release from the university indicates that Beagle can be used "to trace the trail of email scammers." Koven and others on the development team collaborated with Agari, a data-security company, which provided access to tens of thousands of emails for research. The result is a user-friendly interface that helps investigators and others quickly search huge numbers of emails and find commonalities, including keywords and patterns in content, as well as less commonly used factors such as sent-time and the physical locations of email recipients. The development team is currently working with several law enforcement agencies in further refining the tool. The goal is to release it for more widespread law enforcement beta testing this summer. Koven intends to distribute the tool free after the beta test is completed. Two of the major differences between Beagle and other tools are searches that include all results, rather than screening for what the tools deem the most relevant, as well as Beagle's ability to search huge datasets rapidly.