Welcome To The Scene : A Network Analysis Of Warez Hackers
Décary-Hétu, David & Carlo Morselli & Stéphane Leman-Langlois
Illicit Networks Workshop, Sydney, Australia
Software piracy is often described as a series of activities meant to provide and offer software, movies or games for free without permission of their copyright owners. Much has been written about how hackers operate and the apparent damage they cause to the copyright owners. This study focuses on the methods through which hackers communicate online and the structure of their relationships, the virtual market they operate in and the social function of their vast illegal file exchange community. Results are based on data that was collected on more than 3,000 groups of hackers who have been active over the past five years. We find that this community network is considereably decentralized and functions largely in a very "democratic" process. Another important feature of the network is that participants are primarily in search of recognition within the community. They are not seeking economic gain. This distinction makes this illicit network unique and leads to distinctive impacts on how long hacker groups survive, how much they produce, how versatile they are in the files that they supply, and how popular they are amongst consumers who download their material.
This content has been updated on 8 August 2016 at 18 h 07 min.