First Line of Defense: Cybercrime and the Deep Web: A Global Conglomerate of Crime

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First Line of Defense
Your regular source of security updates from TrendLabs
March 15, 2016

Cybercrime and the Deep Web: A Global Conglomerate of Crime


Just as the Internet allows us to get in touch with friends and family all over the world with a single click of a mouse button, it also allows criminals and felons to easily interact with peers. But where we law-abiding users simply trade greetings and good tidings, those who choose to be on the darker side of the law trade contraband online—from stolen credit card numbers to guns and even child porn—in what we’ve come to know as the cybercriminal underground economy. It’s just what it sounds like—a digital black market where cybercriminals can buy, sell, and exchange all manner of illegal products and services.

Since we started going behind enemy lines in our quest to not
"Each one is as distinct and different from each other as much as they’re similar – not just in the language or currency they operated in, but in their culture, expertise and exclusive offerings."
only combat malware but to go after their source, we delved into no less than six online black markets, each one native to a specific country or region—Russia, Japan, China, Germany, Brazil, and North America. Each market is as distinct from others as much as the customers they serve.

These black markets have different modus operandi, not just unique offerings. Brazil, for instance, dubbed the “fastest route to cybercrime superstardom,” not only has a mentor system in place for wannabes who want to learn the ropes and accumulate tools but also fosters a fierce environment of competition. In the North American underground, meanwhile, you’re left to fend for yourself with all of the information you need to become a cybercriminal out in the open, easy to access by just about anyone.

Other key market differences include:

The Japanese underground is the only market that does not focus on traditional crimeware. This underground scene caters more to the taboo.
The German underground takes cues from the Russian market.
The Chinese underground serves as a hotbed for crimeware (particularly hardware) prototypes.

Our latest paper, “Cybercrime and the Deep Web,” details these facts in full. Read how cybercriminals from all over the world formed underground economies of their own. See why we think thwarting cybercrime from the source must be a global effort. Security vendors, law enforcement agencies, and users need to work together to keep the Internet from being the lawless wild west it’s threatening to become.


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© 2016 Trend Micro Incorporated




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