Intelligence against crime: Interview with Stefan (Foreus)

Stefan Embacher has declared war against cyber crime by founding his company Foreus. In this interview, we get to know Stefan better and learn how big data science and artificial intelligence can help prevent and solve cyber crime offenses. Finally, the security expert has 3 important tips for you to better protect yourself against cyber attacks.

Like online shopping, cyber crime is now part of everyday life in Austria. According to a cybercrime report by the Austrian Federal Criminal Police Office, the number of reported cybercrime cases rose by 28.6% in 2021. The clearance rate of these reported cases was around 36% as of August 2022. (Source:

So what happens with the remaining 64% of unresolved cases? Are the victims of such fraud forsaken and forgotten? No, because this is where Foreus comes in. Now let's take a look at who‘s behind this company.

Stefan in portrait

Stefan Embacher Foreus

Hello! I am Stefan Embacher, co-founder and CEO of Foreus. My career began with the Austrian Federal Army, where I worked as a professional sergeant for 8 years, then I worked for the software company Palantir for 3 years. I founded FOREUS in 2021. Since then, I have not only been recognized as a security consultant, but also as a book author with the work “White Crime.”

As CEO of FOREUS, I lead a team of 20 professionals who help companies move safely in an increasingly complex world.

Questions & answers

1) “Intelligence against crime” is your motto at FOREUS, can you give us a glimpse of what you offer and what concerns you every day?

This means that we carry out data-driven information collection and use big data analyses and artificial intelligence to prevent cyber, economic and crypto offenses and, in the event of damage, solve them in a way that can be used in court.

2) What is your personal connection to Bitcoin and how did you get involved?

In 2014, my Federal Army comrade at the Academy gave me the tip to invest in Bitcoin. After that, I started working on the topic and have been a Bitcoin Investor “Only Bitcoin” ever since.

3) We are aware of the allegations that Bitcoin is only for criminals. Now you're sitting right at the source. What do your estimates show, how large is the proportion of criminal activity really?

  • These are mostly superficial allegations from people who have not yet addressed the issue and only use media reports as a basis for discussion. 80% of Bitcoin is confronted with negative allegations in the media and, accordingly, this is also the opinion of the general public.
  • In a nutshell, Bitcoin brings more positive things to the world than negative things. But, of course, criminal actors are exploiting the benefits of technology to gain an economic advantage. But you can also see that payment options on the Darknet are currently moving strongly towards vouchers. Amazon vouchers, for example. The advantage of this is to enjoy complete anonymity and to be able to operate completely outside the regular financial market. So you can see that Bitcoin is not the criminal property, but that in the end the crime is still committed by a person and that person implements the crime accordingly with his technical knowledge. It is completely irrelevant whether the economic advantage is achieved through Bitcoin or something else.

4) Have cases like FTX increased the demand for your services? Are companies that want to be audited, or possibly even national states and authorities, who want to see existing crypto services put through their paces?

Of course, events like this fuel our business model. The problem in such cases, however, is that in such cases, usually only retail investors contact us with a damage amount of 1,000 — 10,000€. It is difficult for us to be able to help a victim of fraud here, as the effort on our part is disproportionate to customer benefits. Authorities and public prosecutors are already using our services, and that is also the direction we want to go in the future because, in my opinion, such fraud, at least in terms of clarification, requires state resources.

5) At a time when digital control and surveillance are increasing, do you see Bitcoin as a kind of antithesis to these trends?

Based on current developments and the current political discussion, it is clear that the state wants to intervene more and more in citizens' personal rights (abolition of official secrecy, according to Karoline Edtstadler: The modern state is here). However, this in turn means that a great deal will change in terms of data protection, law enforcement and legislative amendments over the next 10 years. The digital euro is also fundamentally a technical innovation and I also stand for that, namely using technology that seems promising for the future. However, along with this, I would like to warn against the increasing centralization of politics in Europe. Accordingly, I would like to note that Bitcoin must be used on the good side.

6) On-chain analysis is also often criticized. It is sometimes said that you can read out much less than what is being propagated. What would you say to that?

I cannot provide full information on this, but I would like to note that on-chain analyses are not the panacea for detecting criminal activity.

7) If we could tap into your know-how for ordinary people, what would be the 3 most important precautions you should take to protect yourself from cyber attacks in the best possible way?

  • Multi-factor authentication for all logins (bank, etc.)
  • To know what it means to be manipulated or to recognize when you are being manipulated
  • To protect your privacy as much as possible in all chat forums

8) Back to Bitcoin. What would you recommend to people who have not yet studied Bitcoin so profoundly?

  • Inform first, invest later
  • Invest small sums regularly
  • Think long-term rather than decide in the short term

9) Where do you see Bitcoin in 10 years? A niche among many asset classes, or a global, transparent, digital money network?

  • I see Bitcoin as the strongest investment product in the world in 10 years
  • I think we're still miles away from using Bitcoin to make nationwide payments such as restaurant visits

The Coinfinity Bitcoin app is here! Stay humble, stack sats.
App Store Coinfinity
Google Play Store Coinfinity