The Underground Economy
The Underground Economy: Priceless
Rob Thomas and Jerry Martin, The Underground Economy: Priceless, ;login:, Dec. 2006, at 7. Web
Issues: Economics of Cybersecurity
underground economy, money, cash, statistics, criminal activity, crime, cybercrime, criminals, economics, monetize, cashiers, theft, IRC, prosecution
An analysis of the ways in which miscreants in the underground economy monetize stolen credit card data, bot networks, compromised hosts and other spoils of cybercrime.
The underground economy is fertile ground for the pursuit and prosecution of the miscreants. Most of the underground economy servers are public, advertised widely, and easy to find (standard IRC ports, very descriptive DNS RRs, etc.). There is absolutely no presumption of privacy in the underground economy; the channels aren’t hidden, the channels have no keys, and the servers have no passwords. There is evidence of physical crime as well as online crime, and admissions of guilt, and all are readily available. Although the data in this article is obfuscated, these stanzas of gross fraud come with the name, address, phone number, SSN, and mother’s maiden name of the victim. That seems ready-made for a complaint. It is time to use the miscreants’ greatest asset, the underground economy, against them.