Darkode: Recruitment patterns and transactional features of “the most dangerous cybercrime forum in the world”
B. Dupont, A.-M. Côté, J.-I. Boutin, and J. Fernandez (2017), Darkode: Recruitment patterns and transactional features of “the most dangerous cybercrime forum in the world”, American Behavioral Scientist, 61 (11), 1219-1243.
This article explores the social and market dynamics of Darkode, an invitation-only cybercrime forum that was dismantled by the FBI in July 2015 and was described by a U.S. Attorney as “the most sophisticated English-speaking forum for criminal computer hackers in the world”. Based on a leaked database of 4788 discussion threads, we examine the selection process through which 344 potential new members introduced themselves to the community in order to be accepted into this exclusive group. Using a qualitative approach, we attempt to assess whether this rigorous procedure significantly enhanced the trust between traders, and therefore contributed to the efficiency of this online illicit marketplace. We find that trust remained elusive and interactions were often fraught with suspicion and accusations. Even hackers who were considered successful faced significant challenges in trying to profit from the sale of malicious software and stolen data.
This content has been updated on January 17, 2018 at 23 h 26 min.