WASHINGTON, D.C.: The dark world of cybercrime has evolved from one of rogue individuals to a functioning market-based economy with its ups and downs, code of conduct and “innovation.”
A study by Rand Corp. and commissioned by the security firm Juniper Networks found a well-organized, multibillion-dollar underground economy that has become “a playground of financially driven, highly organized and sophisticated groups.”
The evolution of cybercrime creates new challenges for security professionals trying to protect computer networks, said Nawaf Bitar, Juniper general manager for security.
“We have long suspected that cybercriminals were sophisticated and that they had an organizational structure, but no one had studied this,” Bitar told Agence France-Presse.
“The success of this market is driven by accelerated economics, and the way to address this is through economics,” he added.
The report said the black markets “are growing in size and complexity” and that this activity “mirrors the normal evolution of a free market, with both innovation and growth.”
Michael Callahan, Juniper security vice president, said this cyber underground has all the characteristics of an economy, including its own currencies—chiefly cryptographic payment forms such as Bitcoin.