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Trust among cybercriminals? Carding forums, uncertainty and implications for policing

Trust among cybercriminals? Carding forums, uncertainty and implications for policing
Trust among cybercriminals? Carding forums, uncertainty and implications for policing
At the beginning of the 21st Century, before the power of online social networking became apparent, several studies speculated about the likely structure of organised cybercrime (Mann and Sutton 1998; Brenner 2002). In the light of new data on cybercriminal organisations, this paper sets out to revisit their claims. In collaboration with the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), this paper examines the structure of organised cybercrime by analysing data from online underground markets previously in operation over the Internet. In order to understand the various structures of organised cybercrime which have manifested, theories are drawn from social psychology, organised crime and transaction cost economics (TCE). Since the focus is on how uncertainty is mitigated in trading among cybercriminals, uncertainty is treated as a cost to the transactions and is used as the unit of analysis to examine the mechanisms cybercriminals use to control two key sources of uncertainty: the quality of merchandise and the identity of the trader. The findings indicate that carding forums facilitate organised cybercrime because they offer a hybrid form of organisational structure that is able to address sources of uncertainty and minimise transaction costs to an extent that allows a competitive underground market to emerge. The findings from this study can be used to examine other online applications that could facilitate the online underground economy.
organised cybercrime, carding, underground economy, trust, transaction cost economics, social network
1043-9463
516-539
Yip, Michael
78566995-aa68-4842-976b-cd98c98d8c67
Webber, Craig
35851bbe-83e6-4c9b-9dd2-cdf1f60c245d
Shadbolt, Nigel
5c5acdf4-ad42-49b6-81fe-e9db58c2caf7
Yip, Michael
78566995-aa68-4842-976b-cd98c98d8c67
Webber, Craig
35851bbe-83e6-4c9b-9dd2-cdf1f60c245d
Shadbolt, Nigel
5c5acdf4-ad42-49b6-81fe-e9db58c2caf7

Yip, Michael, Webber, Craig and Shadbolt, Nigel (2013) Trust among cybercriminals? Carding forums, uncertainty and implications for policing. [in special issue: Policing Cybercrime] Policing and Society, 23 (4), 516-539. (doi:10.1080/10439463.2013.780227).

Record type: Article

Abstract

At the beginning of the 21st Century, before the power of online social networking became apparent, several studies speculated about the likely structure of organised cybercrime (Mann and Sutton 1998; Brenner 2002). In the light of new data on cybercriminal organisations, this paper sets out to revisit their claims. In collaboration with the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), this paper examines the structure of organised cybercrime by analysing data from online underground markets previously in operation over the Internet. In order to understand the various structures of organised cybercrime which have manifested, theories are drawn from social psychology, organised crime and transaction cost economics (TCE). Since the focus is on how uncertainty is mitigated in trading among cybercriminals, uncertainty is treated as a cost to the transactions and is used as the unit of analysis to examine the mechanisms cybercriminals use to control two key sources of uncertainty: the quality of merchandise and the identity of the trader. The findings indicate that carding forums facilitate organised cybercrime because they offer a hybrid form of organisational structure that is able to address sources of uncertainty and minimise transaction costs to an extent that allows a competitive underground market to emerge. The findings from this study can be used to examine other online applications that could facilitate the online underground economy.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 8 April 2013
Keywords: organised cybercrime, carding, underground economy, trust, transaction cost economics, social network
Organisations: Web & Internet Science, Social Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 348014
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/348014
ISSN: 1043-9463
PURE UUID: ebe6fa0a-17d8-4bcd-a609-5d21395eb6ab
ORCID for Craig Webber: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3900-7579

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Date deposited: 05 Feb 2013 14:12
Last modified: 27 Jan 2020 13:38

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Contributors

Author: Michael Yip
Author: Craig Webber ORCID iD
Author: Nigel Shadbolt

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