In its annual research report published last month, Flashpoint, a global leader in Deep and Dark Web intelligence, pointed out the increasing complexities of the illicit communities as well as how cybercrime became more industrialized in the darknet markets in the year that just passed. The report details the top high-risk threats for organizations and their assets and is based on the growing cybercrime trends in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The CEO of Flashpoint, Josh Lefkowitz, touched upon the maturing of the French and Chinese illicit communities in the darknet markets. The company believes that operational and strategic intelligence gained from the darknet markets will help to reduce the costs of the fraud or data loss that may occur, reduce the damage of reputation and also provide an insight into the working of the criminal activities that would affect an organization, its employees, clients and partners.
Darknet Markets – Top Threats They Pose
The range of criminal activities that take place in the darknet markets includes theft of intellectual property, financial fraud, hacking, and terrorism. Intelligence and timely information about such activities will help organizations to be prepared before they are planned and executed. Corporate companies need to be well informed about these darknet markets and criminal innovations to combat and overcome any potential threats. The Flashpoint report serves to monitor such activities of the darknet markets that are almost invisible to the others. The following top threats have been identified by Flashpoint in the year 2015:
Threat #1: Free entry for any cybercriminal
Anyone can choose to enter the darknet markets as a cybercriminal. There is no bar and this has been made largely possible with the expanding malware toolsets now available for the newbie.
Threat #2: Drugs are available in plenty
It is estimated that over 50 percent of the darknet markets that function using Tor offer narcotics for sale. These are easily accessible and are sure to incite interest among the ones that are ready to enter the world of drugs and cybercrime.
Threat #3: No legislature in place for use of hidden services
There is no clear legislation in place as regards the use and governance of hidden service. As long as this does not change, cybercriminals will effectively use Tor and other hidden services for conduct of criminal and illicit activities.
Threat #4: Cybercrime – Claim to fame
Though it is a fact that the financially and politically motivated are still a threat to a system (governments, organizations and individuals) that is against their agenda, it has been pointed out in the report that the more dangerous among all of these are cybercriminals motivated by chaos and fame. Their actions are more challenging and they are harder to control.
Threat #5: Seamless terrorism and cybercrime
The spread of cybercrime is inevitable and is, of course, hastened by the facilities provided by hidden services. The year 2015 saw the globalization of crime. With Chinese cybercriminals taking business to Russian forums, it is evident that cybercrime has matured, is internationalized and is growing at an alarming rate. Jihadists have managed to make the most out of what the darknet markets have to offer, thanks to their new crop of young and tech savvy recruits. They have offered greater support to ISIS and extended the global reach of the terrorist group.
Flashpoint provides relevant tools, reports, studies and data about the Deep and Dark Web. These are aimed at providing access to organizational, tactical and strategic intelligence to experts. The data is curated by subject-matter experts and presented using a state-of-the art platform. Flashpoint’s products are designed to throw light on the actors, their behaviors and relationships that exist in the deep and dark web. Many organizations have come to realize the potential of this intelligence report and the value of staying ahead of emerging cyber threats. Many government departments and Fortune 500 companies use Flashpoint data, tools and reports to reduce the costs of financial fraud, data loss and reputational damage that are caused to them. Flashpoint is backed by companies such as Bloomberg Beta, Greycroft Partners, Cisco Investments, TechOperators, and K2 Intelligence.