Investigating the Underground Economy

Principal Investigator(s): 
Vern Paxson

One of the most disturbing recent shifts in Internet attacks has been the change from attackers motivated by glory or vanity to attackers motivated by commercial (criminal) gain. This shift threatens to greatly accelerate the "arms race" between defenders developing effective counters to attacks and highly motivated, well funded attackers finding new ways to circumvent these innovations. In this project we explore these marketplaces in an attempt to characterize their constituencies, impact, and sundry elements, with the ultimate goal of employing such analysis to shed light on bottlenecks/weak spots present in the underground economy that can then be targeted to provide maximal benefit for defenders.

Funding provided by NSF grant 1237265, TWC: Frontier: Collaborative: Beyond Technical Security: Developing an Empirical Basis for Socio-Economic Perspectives.