The Internet has ushered in an era of productivity and connectivity only previously dreamed of. But like every great tool, it can be used for darker purposes. Unfortunately, the Internet is also used for illegal activity, like drug trafficking or selling data on the black market.
There are several reasons why crime is flourishing on the Internet, but a major contributor is the anonymity the web offers. In particular, by using the browser Tor criminals can conduct their illegal activities anonymously with little chance of being compromised by law enforcement. In fact, certain black markets can only be accessed through Tor.
However, not all online black markets are protected like this, and not all illegal online black markets are concerend with sustainability. Underground black markets in North America will typically sell to anyone, regardless of whether they’re seasoned criminals. This blatant disregard for their own continuity is dangerous for both users and those orchestrating the sales. Many of these underground black market sites can be found on what’s called the “Surface Web,” which is the Internet seen by the average user, and accessible to anyone. Users can access these sites by knowing what to search for, and this ease-of-use allows the industry to grow rapidly.
From Trend Micro via TechRepublic, the following is a chart detailing online crime markets.
No surprise, drugs are a major target of the online cybercrime industry, with stolen data dumps and crimeware coming in second and third. Even more disturbing is the existence of online plots for arms manufacturing and even assassinations, which makes the online black market a dangerous entity.
The North American underground can be considered a “glass tank.” It works great for its intended purpose, but the transparency and lack of sustainability make it susceptible to destruction at any given moment. Trend Micro reports that the life cycle of most black market sites is very short. Many are available one moment, and gone the next.
The takeaway here is that cyber criminals are extremely resourceful and slippery, and will use any and all means at their disposal to turn a profit without a second thought. This is why it’s so critical to protect your business from hackers and other online threats. Because anyone can purchase code over the Internet to exploit vulnerabilities, data dumps, and other sensitive credentials, agency owners need to realize there’s a market for their sensitive data, and that it needs to be protected at all costs.
SMART Services can help your business handle these threats by outfitting your network with the latest and greatest security solutions on the market. Our technicians can answer any questions you might have about firewalls, antiviruses, content blocking, and spam filtering solutions. To learn more, give us a call at (586) 258-0650.