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Cybercrime

Spamming-as-a-service available via the Chinese underground

Security firm Trend Micro has just released a research paper [PDF] which looks at cybercrime and the deep web around the world. This focuses on seven counties: Russia, Japan, China, Germany, US, Canada and Brazil.

“Each country’s market is as distinct as its culture,” explains the report.

“The Russian underground, for instance, can be likened to a well-functioning assembly line where each player has a role to play. It acts as the German market’s ‘Big Brother’ as well in that it greatly influences how the latter works.” 

Yet it is the information on what products and services are sold on underground sites in each of these countries that makes for the most interesting reading.

Fascinatingly, the only products available across all markets are data dumps and fake documents - although malware can be purchased everywhere except Canada.

Even drugs are not as universal as you might think as these cannot be found online in Russia, Canada and Brazil. While weapons only find a virtual market in Japan and the US.

But what about the niche regional products? Well, child-porn related goods are only seen in Japan, counterfeit money is only for sale in Brazil and stolen Packstation accounts are only for sale in Germany.

The services for sale paints an even more unique regional picture with no single service available across all markets.

Murder for hire is only possible in the US. Russia only provides payment card validity checking and more pragmatically translation - I wonder what nefarious documents need translating. While China has a unique market for spamming-as-a-service, Apple App Store rank boosting, and Trojan toolkit access subscription. Canada offers no services whatsoever via the underground. And true stereotype Japan is the only place where you can buy spying services using web cameras.     

As the report points out things change quickly though in the criminal underground. So, this picture may already be out of date…

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