Of the hacking related services on darknet marketplaces, a recent study shows that both PayPal and credit card fraud are the most common forms available. The study, conducted by three individuals from Arizona State University, crawled 17 different darknet markets for search terms related to computer fraud in order to create a list of services and items offered.
The process used in the study involved both manually and automatically scraping each marketplace for terms such as “keylogger” and “Facebook.” Incidentally, the search was looking for “carding products, PayPal-related items, cashing credit cards, PGP tools, Netflix-related items, general hacking tools, data dumps, Linux-related products, email hacking tools, and network security tools.” Other entries such as bulletproof VPNs, RATs, botnets, phishing kits, exploit kits, and keyloggers were also discovered but with less weight behind them.
In the analysis of their study, Ericsson Marin, Ahmad Diab and Paulo Shakarian write:
“We examined 17 malicious hacker market-places crawled over a 6 month period. The crawled information was then parsed and stored in a relational database. Relevant tables record the marketplaces themselves, the vendors of the various products and the items/products for sale. Each item is associated with a vendor and a marketplace, allowing for join queries. Some of the more relevant fields for marketplace items include the price, title, description, rating, posting date. In this work, we primarily extract features from the product title/name to generate features.”
Of the 8,000 results found by the researchers, they noted a large amount of reposting the same item between different marketplaces, even if the market had rules against such behavior. Their study does account for this “To clean our product data, we identify duplicate (cross-posted)
products and report on the size of our dataset.” Only about 57% of the listings were unique, they claim.
The study makes some interesting observations on what hacking products are popular. It notes there is a widespread prevalence of keyloggers — which is not surprising as it is
a well established hacking technique. Also pointed out is a growing demand for Facebook related tools, indicating an increased desire for Facebook hacking tools and information.
Regardless of what products are growing in popularity, carding services and hacked PayPal accounts are still ahead on the study’s top ten list of hacking products.