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Cyber black market \ mirrors\ legitimate free market.

The global cyber black market has a mature economy that mirrors that of other free markets in terms of both innovation and growth, according to insights recently released by Juniper Networks.

In a global report sponsored by the vendor and conducted by

the RAND Corporation, Juniper said that the cyber black market constituted a

growing multi-billion dollar economy. The vendor added that the market featured

a robust infrastructure and social organisation.

The report said that there is an intense vetting process to

validate people, products and payments in the black market. This is because the

cyber black market is plagued by 'criminals' - people trying to swindle cyber-criminals

doing real work, or 'rippers'. According to the report, rippers do not provide

the goods or services they claim to.

The report estimated that up to 30% of sellers on the cyber

black market are rippers, hence the need for a robust black market infrastructure.

Indeed, like

consumer goods, black market products come with guarantees including lifespan

and value, and they also have 'terms of use', the report said. Black market

vendors can better track what a customer does with their product to make sure

'terms of use' are not broken - considered a sort of 'digital rights


As a result

of this, the report said that the black market could be much more profitable

than even the illegal drugs trade. Links to end-users are more direct, and

worldwide distribution, being electronic, is of no consequence, the report said.

And certain digital assets, such as credit card information, can be sold to multiple

customers, where as physical assets (such as drugs) can only be sold once.


parallels between the cyber black market and the above-board market include the

fact that, like old products in a regular store, old data goes on clearance.

Credit card data prices may start at $20 per record if there is a limited

supply or $10 to $12 if there is an influx. But when data gets stale, it may go

on sale for $7 per record.


report added that card data from the Middle East is considered to be of less

value than counterparts from other countries. European cards are considered the

most valuable as these cards tend to have higher limits.

"Juniper's collaboration with RAND has unearthed a

fascinating insight into the dark arts of these cyber criminals," said Adrian Pickering,

vice president for the Middle East and Africa, Juniper Networks.

"The research has allowed us to learn the secrets of these

sophisticated criminal networks, which the report has dubbed the 'Hacker

Bazaar'. We must disrupt the economics of hacking so we can break the value

chains that drive successful attacks."

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Date:Aug 24, 2014
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