Trust has eroded among criminal interactions, causing a switch to e-commerce platforms and communication using Discord, which both increase user anonymization, Trend Micro reveals.
Popular underground goods and services
The report reveals that determined efforts by law enforcement appear to be having an impact on the cybercrime underground. Several forums have been taken down by global police entities, and remaining forums experience persistent DDoS attacks and log-in problems impacting their usefulness.
Trends for cybercrime products and services
The report also illustrates the changing market trends for cybercrime products and services since 2015. Commoditization has driven prices down for many items. For example, crypting services fell from $1,000 to just $20 per month, while the price of generic botnets dropped from $200 to $5 per day.
Pricing for other items, including ransomware, Remote Access Trojans (RATs), online account credentials and spam services, remained stable, which indicates continued demand.
However, there has been a high demand for other services, such as IoT botnets, with new undetected malware variants selling for as much as $5,000. Also popular are fake news and cyber-propaganda services, with voter databases selling for hundreds of dollars, and gaming accounts for games like Fortnite can fetch around $1,000 on average.
Other underground market trends
Other notable findings include the emergence of markets for:
- Deepfake services for sextortion or to bypass photo verification requirements on some sites.
- AI-based gambling bots designed to predict dice roll patterns and crack complex Roblox CAPTCHA.
- Access-as-a-Service to hacked devices and corporate networks. Prices for Fortune 500 companies can reach up to US$10,000 and some services include access with read and write privileges.
- Wearable device accounts where access could enable cybercriminals to run warranty scams by requesting replacement devices.
Underground market trends will likely shift further in the months following the global COVID-19 pandemic, as attack opportunities continue to evolve. To protect against the ever-changing threat landscape, it is recommended to implement a multi-layered defense approach to protect against the latest threats and mitigate corporate security risk.