The hidden history of cyber-crime forums

The notorious dark web marketplaces Alphabay and Hansa were shut down in July following “landmark” action by police forces in the US and Europe to unmask who was running them.

They join a long list of other forums, chat rooms and boards that appeared and were blazingly popular with the criminal underworld before they were compromised and closed.But those sites, including Dark Market, Carders Market, Shadow Crew, Carder.su, Darkode, GhostMarket and the Silk Road, have more in common than just the trajectory of their genesis and demise.They all follow the modus operandi of a landmark forum set up in 2001 called Carder Planet. Designed for criminals who specialised in monetising lists or “dumps” of credit card numbers, it has had an influence far beyond that select group.”Carder Planet created the framework for the current criminal underground,” said Andrei Barysevich, now a director at security firm Recorded Future but who, at the time the site operated, was helping to monitor cyber-crime in Eastern Europe.Continue reading…