Compared to other underground communities in other regions, the cybercriminal underground in North America isn’t as hidden or exclusive.
Cybercriminal operations are treated like regular businesses, and its sites, forums, and marketplaces are easily accessed. In effect, the North American underground is more like a glass tank where business goes on in full view of both cybercriminals and law enforcement. This makes it unique compared to the dark mazes and solid walls put up to hide cybercriminal communities in other regions.
Trend Micro’s new report, “North American Underground: The Glass Tank,” says access to this underground is relatively simple with availability through search engines on the mainstream, surface web. Transactions occurring involve several steps to keep both buyers’ and sellers’ anonymity through virtual currency and exchanges.
Key findings of the report include:
• Crimeware: Considered to be an essential within any basic underground market, some forums in the North American market exclusively sell hacking tools.
• Crypting services: Arguably the most sought-after crimeware in the underground to date, these service providers check how many security products flag the code “malicious,” and then encrypt malware as many times as it takes to avoid detection.
• Credit card credentials, clones and fakes: Cybercriminals most commonly sell information such as credit card credentials. But they are not the only credit-card-related goods found. Clones or copies of stolen credit cards also abound.
• Drugs and weapons: Individuals involved in drug-related transactions try to retain anonymity, while the weapons marketplace reveals foreign contacts allowing for delivery outside North America.
For data, background and forecasts on the Cybercrime: Search CardWeb.com’s CardFlash® Library of more than 58,000 archived articles; Access CardWeb.com’s CardData® for current and historical Performance, Portfolios, Profiles, etc. Visit RAM Research® (ramresearch.com) for quarterly and annual forecasts covering more than 150 metrics. [complimentary or deeply discounted access to CardWeb.com subscribers].
Additional database resources include CardWeb.com’s CardExecs® – comings & goings of payments movers & shakers; CardWeb.com’s CardWatch® – ears & eyes on marketing globally (57K items); and CardWeb.com’s CardPixes® – form & function of card design (7K items).