The Kings Of Carders
Décary-Hétu, David & Anna Leppänen
Stockholm Symposium of Criminology, Stockholm, Sweden
The Internet is known to host many gray and black markets that trade anything and everything from stolen goods to confidential data. A very interesting subset of this criminal underground is the carding scene where its members, the carders, illegally trade credit card information. Given the unreliable setting in which the transactions take place, members of the carding underground have adopted a reputation index that reflects the trustworthiness of buyers and sellers based on their past transactions. The carders with the highest levels of reputation are regarded as very reliable. They can take advantage of their reputation to reap higher rewards than others by having access to other trustworthy partners and by eliminating some of the inherent friction of such illegal transactions. This paper will apply Bourdieu’s notion of capital to the carding scene. Bourdieu states that each agent (or individual) accumulates a certain level of capital be it economic, cultural, social or symbolic. The agents can then use his capital to obtain the rewards they are looking for. This paper will analyze how a specific type of capital – the symbolic capital – is earned by carders. In order to do so, we analyzed the characteristics of all the members of an online carding forum as well as their social interactions. This data includes all the public messages they exchanged with each other as well as their online profile such as length of activity and status on the board.
This content has been updated on 8 August 2016 at 18 h 03 min.