Hackers' Bazaar: The Markets for Cybercrime Tools and Stolen Data

By Ablon, Lillian; Libicki, Martin | Defense Counsel Journal, April 2015 | Go to article overview

Hackers' Bazaar: The Markets for Cybercrime Tools and Stolen Data


Ablon, Lillian, Libicki, Martin, Defense Counsel Journal


MALICIOUS hackers and cyberattacks are getting more attention these days - a result of both an uptick in the number amount of attacks as well as of increased public attention and fascination.

2014 was the year the hack went viral. Notable data breaches included those at retail giants Target and Home Depot, health-care provider Community Health Systems, financial institution J.P. Morgan Chase, and entertainment giant Sony. For the retail sector in particular, the stolen data from these hacks appeared within days on black market sites.

These cyber black markets offer the computer-hacking tools and services to enable and carry out cybercrime attacks, as well as the byproducts from those attacks - the stolen credit cards, personally identifiable information, and intellectual property.

The RAND Corporation, with support from Juniper Networks, wanted to understand the landscape and the character of these cybercrime black markets: what the markets look like today, where they came from, as well as where we're headed in the future.

To do so, we sought out and interviewed experts ranging from academics, to security researchers, reporters, security vendors and law enforcement personnel - folks who have a personal connection to these markets, from a variety of angles. We also reviewed literature and technical reports on this topic and personally observed some of the marketplace forums and websites.

The markets for cybercrime tools and stolen data have become so pervasive and accessible that the malicious hacking trade today can for some people in certain aspects be more lucrative and easier to carry out than the illegal drug trade. The hacking trade has matured into specialized markets, in which those who have gained the greatest access deal freely in its tools and spoils: exploit kits (software for creating, distributing, and managing attacks), botnets (remotely controlled computers used for sending spam or flooding websites), "asa-service" offerings (hacking for hire), compromised hosts, and a continually flooded market for stolen credit-card numbers and other personal credentials.

These markets are dispersed, diverse, and segmented; constantly changing and innovating to both keep pace with consumer trends as well as to prevent lawenforcement and security vendors from understanding them. They come in many forms. Some are dedicated to one product or a specialized service. Others offer a range of goods and services for a full lifecycle of an attack - from the tools needed to exploit a system, all the way through to the cyber laundering of the stolen goods.

I. The Current State of These Markets: Where Are We Now?

Today, the markets for cybercrime tools and stolen data are quite advanced. Cybercrime markets are rapidly growing, maturing, and continuously innovating. They are full of increasingly sophisticated organizations, people, products, and methods for communicating and conducting business transactions. They are resilient in the face of takedowns and constantly adapting to new tactics and techniques of law enforcement and computer security vendors. Finally, they are easy to enter.

II. How Did We Get Here?

Less than 15 years ago, cybercrime was committed by ad hoc networks of individuals motivated largely by ego and notoriety, who mostly wanted to get on to systems and prove themselves to one another. Job opportunities and fame resulted from this display of technical abilities. This was the age of the lone-wolf hacker, where most participants had some sort of technological skill and already knew each other on- or off-line.

Cybercrime grew as more of the world gained a digital component. Access to computing technology became more prevalent, and there were more technologically savvy people. Criminal enterprises recognized this as a golden opportunity to exploit users and systems for less risk than through traditional crime avenues. As a result, motivations shifted towards financial gain, and more crime contained a digital nexus or electronic connection. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Hackers' Bazaar: The Markets for Cybercrime Tools and Stolen Data
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.