A qualitative mapping of Darkweb marketplaces

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11 Citationer (Scopus)


Darkweb marketplaces have evolved greatly since the rise of the Silk Road in 2011, the first platform of its kind, and have become a highly profitable underground trading ecosystem, which provides anonymity for both buyers and sellers. Law enforcement along with researchers, have been successful in taking down marketplaces over the years. However, the combination of mechanisms implemented by these platforms (e.g. payment mechanisms, cryptocurrencies, trust systems), along with the success of the Tor network's anonymity properties, have made marketplaces much more enticing to users, while providing ease of access and use, as well as resilience against hostile actions. Through qualitative methods, this paper presents a mapping of darkweb marketplaces. We systematically investigate the operation of 41 marketplaces, along with 35 vendor shops, and gather information about the mechanisms and features implemented. Additionally, to acquire real world information, we explore the marketplaces' integrated forums, as well as 3 popular independent ones, focusing on discussions between vendors, buyers and marketplace owners, on topics related to illegal trading. We believe that gaining an up-to-date and deep understanding of the framework that marketplaces are built upon, is the first step towards discovering weak spots in the cyber security product and service market, with the disruption of its operation being the ultimate goal.
TitelProceedings of the 2021 APWG Symposium on Electronic Crime Research, eCrime 2021
ISBN (Trykt)978-1-6654-8030-7
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-1-6654-8029-1
StatusUdgivet - 2021
Begivenhed2021 APWG Symposium on Electronic Crime Research, eCrime - Virtual, USA
Varighed: 1 dec. 20213 dec. 2021


Konference2021 APWG Symposium on Electronic Crime Research, eCrime
NavnAPWG Symposium on Electronic Crime Research (eCrime)


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