Need to buy a “cure” for COVID-19? Willing to pay a hacker US$185 (€158.31) to destroy your competitor’s business? Want to spend $1,000 (€855.72) in bitcoin and get $10,000 (€8557.15) wired to a bank account of your choice? These are just a few of the illicit goods and services currently for sale on the dark web.
The security research team at Armor, the Threat Resistance Unit (TRU), has spent the past three years, diving into the underground hacker markets and forums, studying the products and services that cybercriminals are buying and selling. From October 2019 to June 30, 2020 the TRU team investigated 15 markets and a variety of underground hacker forums, news sites, and open repositories for Armor’s 2020 Dark Market report: The New Economy. The aim is to understand the state of this underground economy.
Throughout the digital storefronts of these dark markets, the team found that many of the items and services being peddled in 2018 and 2019 continue to be staples in criminal markets. These include cloned credit and ATM cards, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) credentials, and full identity packets.
However, there are several new items this year that are quite notable. In addition to the purported “cure” for COVID-19 and the offer to “destroy your competitor’s business,” these new offerings range from a turn-key, ecommerce service that provides fraudsters with everything they need to set up their own dark market shop to SMS bombing services to what is being advertised as the dark web’s very own “Hacker University.”
Read the Dark Market report and get a view into this mysterious underground economy and learn how organisations and consumers can help protect their personal, business and financial data which is fueling this shadow economy. It is an economy which the TRU team firmly believes will continue to thrive because cybercriminals are motivated by economic uncertainty, emboldened by the success of recent cyberattacks and obscured by the chaos of a global pandemic.
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