I’ve spent a copiousness amount of time on the Darknet this year in a quest to gain more understanding on how cybercriminals think. I’ve been studying their communities, how they operate in the Darknetmarkets, perusing their forums, analyzing their marketing techniques, and contemplating how they justify their criminal activities.It’s been fascinating, and at the same time disconcerting.
It has been fascinating because I have learned so much about OPSEC (operational security), and my learning curve has even risen above this exhaustive DarkNetNews Guide. The knowledgebase collection on privacy and security that is available on the Darknet simply blows my mind. Even though we have Google, security researchers, tech journalists, geeks, ethical hackers and a wealth of infosec knowledge at our fingertips –on the clearnet it’s difficult to keep up with all these data-centric technological innovations and the insecurity in security that many of these advanced technologies entail.
On the Darknet cybercriminals seek technologies that will keep them completely anonymous and secure. Shrewd cybercriminals question their goals. They want to first and foremost avoid being identified. They do their research. The technologies they choose to access the Darknet will be one that decreases their chances of being identified. They most likely use a Linux-based system (never a Mac or Windows system) and a good VPN. They also research their choice of hardware. They secure the applications that they run over TOR and encrypt “sensitive” communications. They always have more than one identity and pay strict attention to how they present themselves both in public and private arenas. Most importantly, they never commit the cardinal sin of confessing any personal information that could connect them to their real life identities.
Read more about cybercriminals and their cunning personalities over at the Tripwire blog.