Author Archives: David Hétu

Trying too hard to attract buyers can backfire on carders

Malicious actors face a difficult task in online illicit markets. How can they convince others that they are offering a high quality service (ex. selling stolen credit card numbers) without exposing themselves to arrest or providing their victims (ex. financial … Read More

The Changing Costs of Cybercrime

The Workshop on the Economics of Information Security generates year after year some of the best research on information security. This year is no different with the publication of a new paper on the costs of cybercrime. Here are the … Read More

46M cracked passwords – Are people getting better at securing their accounts?

A little over a year ago, malicious actors hacked the MyFitnessPal service. With 143 million users, this was one of the largest hack of credentials ever reported. Now, as Flare Systems is launching its leaked passwords check service, we present … Read More

Extracting Intelligence From Criminal Complaints

On May 3rd, law enforcement agencies announced that they had seized the servers that hosted the Wall Street darknet illicit market. They also arrested the market’s administrators. A copy of criminal complaint is now published publicly. Criminal complaints like these … Read More

What Can We Learn From The Bitcoin Address of a Darknet Illicit Market

The researcher Caleb (@5auth) recently discovered the bitcoin address that the darknet illicit market (Wall Street) administrators used to manage all the purchases made on their market. This leak demonstrates just how much intelligence can be gathered using our BitCluster … Read More

How Relevant Are Darknet Illicit Markets?

The lifespan of most darknet illicit markets is very limited. While some remain active for years, most only stay online for months. With the recent shutdown of Dreammarket and Wall Street, many people are currently asking themselves: are darknet illicit … Read More

Clustering banks based on the offenders targeting them

Banks are all in the business of protecting savings, loans and helping invest. As a result, banks commonly share many practices and tools. In this blog post, we demonstrate how malicious actors tend to target the same group of financial … Read More

Are online offenders quitters?

In a podcast I was listening to recently, offenders who had just gotten out of jail were discussing how everything in life is so difficult. Some may think that dealing drugs or stealing cars makes for an easy living with … Read More

Legalizing cannabis in Canada: an impact on the cryptomarket black markets?

Canada went through an historic transformation on October 17th. On that date, Canada became the first Western industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis (RC). Given that an estimated 2 million Canadians use recreational cannabis, the legalization of RC removes much … Read More

Why do carders still live with their moms?

What do school teachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? This is just one of the many intriguing questions that Levitt and Dubner ask in the 2005 best-seller Freakonomics. The answer: they both cheat to get ahead. Schools teachers play … Read More