Hackers have traditionally attended public forums to sell software, malware, and services to other cybercriminals. The most sophisticated cybercrooks avoid these forums because they tend to attract newbies, potential “clients” may be undercover law enforcement agents, and the prevalence of price negotiation can lower prices for their products. For these reasons, the number of invitation-only criminal forums requiring registration fees and/or guarantors (vouchers) has increased.
This trend will continue, but to improve anonymity without discouraging buyers, McAfee Labs expects online sales sites modeled on legal trade activities to grow in 2013.
Online sales sites have many advantages. Buyers can:
Purchases made directly on the Internet are more secure and anonymous, and it is easier for prospective buyers to find the services they are looking for. As these sites become more diversified, we expect to see growth in these areas:
As these services continue to grow, it will be difficult to determine which sites are legitimate and which sites are operated by cybercriminals.