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The University of Southampton
Sociology, Social Policy and CriminologyPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

Research project: Structural analysis of online criminal social networks

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Over the last decade, a sophisticated underground economy has emerged over the Internet in which cybercriminals collaborate and trade different goods and services.

This study takes a unique approach towards understanding the functioning of the underground economy by focusing on the social dynamics between the cybercriminals. Using anonymized private messaging records from four underground forums formerly operating as online black markets, this study aims to examine the structural properties of the networks of personal interactions between the cybercriminals and to turn the findings into actionable intelligence for tackling the problem of profit-driven cybercrime.

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