IWF logoLaw enforcement agencies can now employ IWF's 1.7 million file database in their fight against CSAM, free with Cyacomb products 



Protecting children is at the heart of everything Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) does. In the course of its work to remove online Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), IWF has catalogued over 1.7 million files containing illegal images and videos. This collection will now be made available as a secure-by-design IWF Contraband Filter, which can be used by law enforcement to quickly identify these illegal files on suspect devices. The Contraband Filter will be available to users of Cyacomb’s tools free of charge. 

IWF Analysts remove a photo of a child suffering sexual abuse from the Internet every two minutes. Cyacomb empowers Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) through fast and thorough digital forensics triage. Both share the same spirit: the safeguarding of children and putting an end to the sharing of CSAM.  

Our partnership, based on shared values, has resulted in the largest global Contraband Filter of CSAM available to date 

The Internet Watch Foundation’s annual report shows that, in 2022, a record-breaking 51,369 of the webpages it took action to remove or block from the internet contained Category A child sexual abuse material.


Why is the IWF Contraband Filter so significant?  

Traditional hash lists are based on 1970s technology and are the established standard for identifying illegal content. These hash lists are vulnerable to abuse. In the wrong hands, and with basic internet access, they can be used to seek out and procure the same images we are working so hard to eradicate. This poses a significant security risk to Law Enforcement agencies and a further violation of privacy, causing a revictimization loop.  

Contraband Filter technology is secure-by-design. Meaning that once a Contraband Filter has been created, it can be used to match content found on suspects devices, but cannot be used to recreate, search for, or otherwise link to the original material. This protects the security of the database and the privacy of victims, while making detection capabilities available where they are most needed. 

Thanks to this, our users can identify CSAM in record time, whilst keeping the original and harmful data collected by IWF safe and secure.  

Learn more about Cyacomb’s Contraband Filter technology

Through the partnership with IWF, Cyacomb built the IWF Contraband Filter. A secure matching capability of 1.7 million files is now available to law enforcement agencies globally. Freely accessible with any Cyacomb tool. 


The importance of shared resources  

Those fighting against Child Sexual Abuse Material need the best possible capabilities yet are often hampered when the data to do their jobs is trapped in silos by security and data protection. Contraband Filter™ lets users share capability without having to share data. 


“This is the first time our data will be used in a tool of this kind – and it is an important step in ensuring our world-leading expertise can be quickly drawn upon by police and law enforcement the world over. "

- Dan Sexton, Chief Technical Officer at the IWF 


What this means for our users

 The IWF partnership is invaluable to our users, providing them with:  

  • Proven and secured data, captured and verified by IWF expert analysts since 1996  
  • The IWF Contraband Filter, already containing 1.7 million files, and updated monthly 
  • An easily accessible global dataset, free to use with any of our tools  

And we don't want to stop there  

Cyacomb users are not only gaining access to the IWF Contraband Filter. Many different organisations are creating Contraband Filters. Most, like IWF, are sharing them for the benefit of the community through our secure "Cyacomb Contraband Filter Hub". If you have any questions about access or use of this Contraband Filter, or indeed the creation of contraband filters, or you would like to speak to us about anything else please contact us below.

Contact us to learn more about the Cyacomb Contraband Filter Hub

The sharing of resources among agencies and law enforcement worldwide is imperative. Let’s continue to work together to combat the spreading of CSAM material and keep children from harm. 

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