Exploring the factors associated with rejection from a closed cybercrime community

Research examining the illicit online market for cybercrime services operating via web forums, such as malicious software, personal information, and hacking tools, has greatly improved our understanding of the practices of buyers and sellers, and the social forces that structure actor behavior. The majority of these studies are based on open markets, which can be accessed by anyone with minimal barriers to entry. There are, however, closed communities operating online that are thought to operate with greater trust and reliability between participants, as they must be vetted and approved by existing community members. The decision to allow individuals to join a forum may reflect restrictive deterrence practices on the part of existing members, as those applicants may threaten the security or operations of the group. This study utilized a quantitative analysis to understand the factors associated with rejection for individuals who sought membership in the organized and sophisticated closed forum run by and for cybercriminals called Darkode. The findings demonstrated that individuals whose perceived engagement with the hacker community and cybercrime marketplace were considered too risky for membership. The implications of this study for our understanding of restrictive deterrence theory, as well as criminal market operations on and offline were explored in depth.

This content has been updated on February 6, 2019 at 9 h 47 min.