First Line of Defense: The Russian Underground Then and Now

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First Line of Defense
 
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July 31, 2015
 
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The Russian Underground Market Then and Now


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The cybercriminal underground played host to a wide array of malicious products and services that aided attackers in their tactics to rake in profit from consumers and businesses through the years. This made implementing malicious schemes for online thieves easier with ample amount of ready and usable supplies of goods and services from toolkits to actual stolen data.


Russia was the first to offer its varied crimeware offerings to criminals via forums that were seen since 2004. Since its earlier days, Trend Micro has set out to track its ways and movements that made it a thriving market. To this day, the Russian cybercriminal underground is still highly regarded as the pioneer
 
"How accessible has the underground market become? How do these findings affect our understanding of threats arising from the underground?"
 
market—one that seemingly dictates what goes on in other underground economies.
In the past, Trend Micro has released research findings that focused on the Russian underground. In 2012, Russian Underground 101, shared basic points of discussion shedding light on its actors and hacking activities. Two years later, the report Russian Underground Revisited tackled updates on its activities, specifically noting price drops on products and services and its impact on the overall state of the entire cybercriminal underground market.

In this paper, our Forward-Looking Threat Research team maps out the current set up of the Russian underground market and its continuing evolution towards becoming a highly-professional crime business not only in terms of a steady stream of more sophisticated tools but also in its refined processes. The underground market has tremendously developed an infrastructure that very much resembles a legitimate business, thereby making it easy for anyone, even those without significant skills to find and purchase what he needs to conduct cybercriminal dealings.


How accessible has the underground market become? How do these findings affect our understanding of threats arising from the underground? How has it evolved from when we first forayed into such discussion? Our closer look attests that improved products and evolved services made available in irresistible prices have empowered just about anyone interested in launching cybercriminal activities to cast a wider net on potential victims. For full details of our investigation, read our research paper: Russian Underground 2.0.


 
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