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Examining the Structure, Organization, and Processes of the International Market for Stolen Data Online

Award Information

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $272,891)

This project will examine the economic and social processes of online stolen data markets, their financial impact on businesses and consumers in the global economy, and their organizational structure using a series of threads from ten publicly accessible and registration-only Russian markets operating in online forums. The proposed qualitative study will document the economics of data markets, including the costs and quantity of information that is sold, as well as the primary methods used to acquire data, and the most common financial products and information targeted. Additionally, this research will document the costs incurred by offenders to engage in high tech identity theft, relative to the economic rewards gained from victims. The proposed research will also identify the social dynamics and processes that undergird carding markets to facilitate the sale and trade of stolen data in the online black market. This study will also attempt to understand the organizational composition of this market, including any managerial and administrative positions and their role in dealing with buyers and sellers. Furthermore, this study will use social network analyses to examine the direct links between participants, and identify the overall network structure of data markets. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 20, 2010