The Evolution of Online Criminal Markets: Crime as a Service


Online criminal markets were created well before the advent of the Internet. Back then, they used platforms such as Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) as convergence settings to host discussions and share stolen intellectual property. While online criminal markets have shifted to discussion forums on the web, Internet Relay Chat (IRC) chat rooms and now cryptomarkets on the dark web, their aim remains the same: to provide a safe environment where offenders can network, discuss a wide range of topics and find suitable co-offenders.

Through online criminal markets, researchers and law enforcement agencies have learned much about the structure of the criminal underground. Of particular interest to them is the relatively recent shift towards crime as a service. Crime as a service means that offenders no longer need to build organizations with a diversified set of skills and knowledge. In many cases, the information, the computing power and the coding skills needed to commit offenses car be rented on a per-project or a per-hour basis. Through crime as a service, offenders can become much more specialized and insert themselves into a criminal ecosystem where no participant plays a dominant role but where every participant still plays a small but important role.

This presentation will draw on multiple years of large-scale monitoring of offenders online to describe the evolution of online criminal markets, focusing particularly on its most recent form, cryptomarkets. It will also describe the current state of crime as a service. The main takeaways of this presentation will be a better understanding of the threat landscape and of the value that strategic intelligence can bring to organizations. Such intelligence can be useful to protect organizations today but also to adopt a proactive stance that will protect against the challenges that organizations will face in the upcoming years.

Ce contenu a été mis à jour le 8 août 2016 à 17 h 47 min.