A six-month investigation of 17 popular Dark Web and Deep Web hacking and cyber-crime marketplaces has revealed what are today’s most popular illegal products exchanged on these portals.
The study, carried out by Ericsson Marin, Ahmad Diab and Paulo Shakarian from Arizona State University, involved scraping these 17 websites at different times, in order to create a portfolio of the products sold on the sites.
Scraped sites included Dark Web marketplaces accessible only via a Dark Web connection, but also Deep Web marketplaces, the ones available on the public Internet, but where search engines are blocked from entering, usually via password-protected accounts.
Carding products are the most popular items
Once the researchers managed to get access and scrape these websites, they gathered all the data, and used both manual and automated procedures to classify the data in different categories, per marketplace, and per author.
The result of their work is the image at the end of this article, which shows the most popular products sold on these types of cyber-crime portals.
The final top 10 is made up from 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.
Of course, other categories such as bulletproof VPNs, RATs, botnets, phishing kits, exploit kits, and keyloggers are also included.
Researchers found over 8,000 illegal product offerings
Researchers also say that they’ve observed a high degree of reposting between these marketplaces, even if many have specific policies that prohibit such behavior from their vendors.
Further, the study revealed that most marketplaces are usually specialized on a few product categories, which buyers can find in abundance on their site, with very few all-in-one portals to choose from.
In total, the researchers say they found over 8,000 different illegal products exchanged on these 17 websites.