Cybercrime and Dark Web Research

Account takeover: Expanding on impact

July 27, 2020 | 7 Min Read

Digital Shadows has collected over 15 billion credentials across the open, deep, and dark web. In our recent research piece, Exposure to Takeover, we analyzed the types of alerts that we’ve sent...

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Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Week 4 – The Future of Connected Devices

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Week 4 – The Future of Connected Devices

October 28, 2020 | 8 Min Read

This year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month has served as a refreshing installment of security considerations that are often at risk of...
Foreign cyber threats to the 2020 US presidential election

Foreign cyber threats to the 2020 US presidential election

October 27, 2020 | 12 Min Read

In 2016, Russian nation-state-linked threat actors infamously compromised the Democratic National Convention (DNC), wedging a divide in the political party...
Dark pathways into cybercrime: Minding the threat actor talent gap

Dark pathways into cybercrime: Minding the threat actor talent gap

October 21, 2020 | 11 Min Read

Digital Shadows recently published two blogs looking at how threat actors express their personality on cybercriminal forums — either inadvertently...
Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Week 3 – Securing Internet- Connected Devices in Healthcare

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Week 3 – Securing Internet- Connected Devices in Healthcare

October 21, 2020 | 9 Min Read

The healthcare industry is increasingly relying upon internet-connected devices and solutions to improve patient care, organizational efficiency, crisis response speed,...
Quarterly Update: Ransomware Trends in Q3

Quarterly Update: Ransomware Trends in Q3

October 19, 2020 | 8 Min Read

As we embark on the final months of 2020, ransomware has been the main topic of conversation once again. Throughout...
Digital Shadows Analysis of Europol’s Cybercrime Report

Digital Shadows Analysis of Europol’s Cybercrime Report

October 14, 2020 | 12 Min Read

In early October 2020, Europol released their Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) 2020, detailing the latest trends and impacts...
Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Week 2 – Security Devices at Home and Work

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Week 2 – Security Devices at Home and Work

October 14, 2020 | 7 Min Read

This week, National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) focuses on accountability and responsibility behind securing your devices at home and...
Clickbait to Checkmate: SMS-based scam targets US smartphones and accesses victim locations

Clickbait to Checkmate: SMS-based scam targets US smartphones and accesses victim locations

October 13, 2020 | 11 Min Read

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Digital Shadows has observed a significant increase in the number of SMS-based phishing...
Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Week 1 – If you Connect It, Protect It

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Week 1 – If you Connect It, Protect It

October 8, 2020 | 6 Min Read

This week marks the opening week of the annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). While focusing on cybersecurity is...
Let’s get ready to tumble! Bitcoin vs Monero

Let’s get ready to tumble! Bitcoin vs Monero

October 6, 2020 | 13 Min Read

Over the past ten years, cryptocurrencies have become the go-to form of payment for the less law-abiding citizens of the...
Recent arrests and high-profile convictions: What does it mean for the cyber threat landscape?

Recent arrests and high-profile convictions: What does it mean for the cyber threat landscape?

September 30, 2020 | 13 Min Read

In the wonderful world of cyber threat intelligence and research, we often analyze the impact that cybercrime or nation-state activity...
Cybercriminals Targeting SAP RECON

Cybercriminals Targeting SAP RECON

September 29, 2020 | 5 Min Read

Key takeaways From the discussions that rapidly emerged following the publication of CVE-2020-6287, we can learn the following: There is...
Unpicking Cybercriminals’ Personalities – Part 2:  Morality and Forum Dynamics

Unpicking Cybercriminals’ Personalities – Part 2: Morality and Forum Dynamics

September 28, 2020 | 7 Min Read

In the first part of this blog series, we looked at numerous examples of ways cybercriminals have expressed their gender...
Unpicking Cybercriminals’ Personalities – Part 1:  Gender and Nationality

Unpicking Cybercriminals’ Personalities – Part 1: Gender and Nationality

September 23, 2020 | 9 Min Read

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking about cybercriminal forums as purely transactional platforms; environments in which cut-throat...
DarkSide: The new ransomware group behind highly targeted attacks

DarkSide: The new ransomware group behind highly targeted attacks

September 22, 2020 | 8 Min Read

We’ve recently observed the emergence of a new ransomware operation named DarkSide. The nuance of the operation includes corporate-like methods...
With the Empire falling, who will take over the throne?

With the Empire falling, who will take over the throne?

September 16, 2020 | 10 Min Read

With the Empire falling, who will take over the throne? Empire Market’s exit scam has dealt a significant blow to...
Not another ransomware blog: Initial access brokers and their role

Not another ransomware blog: Initial access brokers and their role

September 9, 2020 | 5 Min Read

It’s hard to get very far in cyber threat intelligence without discussing ransomware. Actually, it’s almost impossible. Keeping with the...
Cyber espionage: How to not get spooked by nation-state actors

Cyber espionage: How to not get spooked by nation-state actors

September 8, 2020 | 8 Min Read

In all the years I’ve worked in the cybersecurity field (nine if anyone’s counting), I haven’t seen as much reporting...
Dread takes on the spammers – who will come out on top?

Dread takes on the spammers – who will come out on top?

August 28, 2020 | 9 Min Read

Spamming is an irritating and sometimes damaging issue that affects all of us, whether it’s constant emails about dubious products...
Fall of the behemoth: Cybercriminal underground rocked by Empire’s apparent exit scam

Fall of the behemoth: Cybercriminal underground rocked by Empire’s apparent exit scam

August 27, 2020 | 10 Min Read

Summer is generally a relatively quiet time in the cybercriminal underground. It seems that, just like the rest of us,...
“ALEXA, WHO IS THE NUMBER ONE CYBERCRIMINAL FORUM TO RULE THEM ALL?”

“ALEXA, WHO IS THE NUMBER ONE CYBERCRIMINAL FORUM TO RULE THEM ALL?”

August 26, 2020 | 12 Min Read

In June 2020, the administrator of the English-language cybercriminal carding forum Altenen announced a “big victory” for the site in...
RECAP: Discussing the evolution and trends of cybercrime with Geoff White

RECAP: Discussing the evolution and trends of cybercrime with Geoff White

August 25, 2020 | 8 Min Read

In late July 2020, Digital Shadows had the fantastic opportunity to speak with Geoff White on ShadowTalk, Digital Shadows’ threat...
Dark Web Forums – The new kid on the block

Dark Web Forums – The new kid on the block

August 18, 2020 | 12 Min Read

Introducing DWF There’s a new kid on the block, and their name is Dark Web Forums (DWF). Have they come...
Optiv CTIE 2020: COVID-19, cybercrime, and third-party risk

Optiv CTIE 2020: COVID-19, cybercrime, and third-party risk

August 17, 2020 | 10 Min Read

Optiv recently released their 2020 Cyber Threat Intelligence Estimate report, which gives organizations a detailed view into the current cyber...
Escrow systems on cybercriminal forums: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Escrow systems on cybercriminal forums: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

August 11, 2020 | 15 Min Read

Just a few short months ago, the Russian-language cybercriminal scene was rocked by the news of an arbitration case involving...
Saving the SOC from overload by operationalizing digital risk protection

Saving the SOC from overload by operationalizing digital risk protection

August 5, 2020 | 4 Min Read

As you may have seen last week, the latest research from our Photon Research team explores the increasing phenomenon of...
The story of Nulled: Old dog, new tricks

The story of Nulled: Old dog, new tricks

August 4, 2020 | 9 Min Read

It is often said that old dogs have a hard time learning new tricks, yet researchers have claimed that because...
BitBazaar Market and The Rise of Neptune Market: The End of the Saga spells hope for another

BitBazaar Market and The Rise of Neptune Market: The End of the Saga spells hope for another

August 3, 2020 | 8 Min Read

Those running dark web marketplaces will do almost anything to achieve their desire to make a lot of money or...
Dark Web Travel Agencies Revisited: The Impact of Coronavirus on the Shadow Travel Industry

Dark Web Travel Agencies Revisited: The Impact of Coronavirus on the Shadow Travel Industry

July 29, 2020 | 10 Min Read

However, the level of engagement on Patriarh’s formerly-active threads has dropped significantly since we last shone our spotlight on them....
Account takeover: Expanding on impact

Account takeover: Expanding on impact

July 27, 2020 | 7 Min Read

Digital Shadows has collected over 15 billion credentials across the open, deep, and dark web. In our recent research piece,...
Ransomware Trends in Q2: How Threat Intelligence Helps

Ransomware Trends in Q2: How Threat Intelligence Helps

July 22, 2020 | 8 Min Read

If you’re anything like me, it can be a struggle to keep up with the latest ransomware news. Last quarter,...
The Rise of OpenBullet: A Deep Dive in the Attacker’s ATO toolkit

The Rise of OpenBullet: A Deep Dive in the Attacker’s ATO toolkit

July 20, 2020 | 9 Min Read

Account takeover (ATO) has become a serious issue for many organizations. Digital Shadows has identified over 15 billion credentials circulating...
Abracadabra! – CryptBB demystifying the illusion of the private forum

Abracadabra! – CryptBB demystifying the illusion of the private forum

July 15, 2020 | 8 Min Read

You wouldn’t usually associate cybercriminal forums with the mysterious “Magic Circle,” (for non-Brits less familiar with the subject, the Magic...
SearchLight’s Credential Validation: Only Focus on What Matters

SearchLight’s Credential Validation: Only Focus on What Matters

July 14, 2020 | 4 Min Read

Of the many use cases associated with threat intelligence and digital risk protection, monitoring for exposed credentials is always one...
Tax Fraud in 2020: Down But Not Out

Tax Fraud in 2020: Down But Not Out

July 13, 2020 | 4 Min Read

After a three month extension, tomorrow marks tax deadline day for the United States. While it may seem that tax...
From Exposure to Takeover: Part 1. Beg, borrow, and steal your way in

From Exposure to Takeover: Part 1. Beg, borrow, and steal your way in

July 7, 2020 | 9 Min Read

Account Takeover: Why criminals can’t resist We rely on passwords to safeguard those precious accounts that allow us to conduct...
Digital Risk Reporting Best Practices: Top 10 Ways to Build Killer Reports in SearchLight

Digital Risk Reporting Best Practices: Top 10 Ways to Build Killer Reports in SearchLight

June 30, 2020 | 4 Min Read

We all have those days or that time of the quarter where management demands a nice glossy report with the...
Multiple vs. Exclusive Sales on the Dark Web: What’s in a sale?

Multiple vs. Exclusive Sales on the Dark Web: What’s in a sale?

June 29, 2020 | 9 Min Read

When going out on a shopping spree, you would naturally have different expectations of price, accessibility, quality, and exclusivity of...
Introducing Nulledflix – Nulled forum’s own streaming service

Introducing Nulledflix – Nulled forum’s own streaming service

June 23, 2020 | 8 Min Read

Lockdowns implemented during the COVID-19 (aka coronavirus) pandemic have forced people around the world to spend a large part of...
Torigon Forum: A sad case of all show and no go

Torigon Forum: A sad case of all show and no go

June 23, 2020 | 11 Min Read

When we review the ideal template for a successful cybercriminal forum, we are on the lookout for several key factors:...
Ensuring order in the underground: Recruiting moderators on cybercriminal forums

Ensuring order in the underground: Recruiting moderators on cybercriminal forums

June 18, 2020 | 10 Min Read

While there have been many predictable consequences of the ongoing global COVID-19 (aka coronavirus) pandemic, few would have foreseen significant...
Security Threat Intel Products and Services: Mapping SearchLight

Security Threat Intel Products and Services: Mapping SearchLight

June 10, 2020 | 6 Min Read

1. TI Analyst Augmentation. Very few organizations have access to vast resources that will enable them to build out a...
New DDoS protection tool advertised on the dark web

New DDoS protection tool advertised on the dark web

June 9, 2020 | 7 Min Read

This blog examines a newly launched DDoS protection filter mechanism dubbed EndGame advertised last week on the dark web community...
Dark Web Digest: Exploring the risk impact of dark web findings, the evolution of forums, and observed trends

Dark Web Digest: Exploring the risk impact of dark web findings, the evolution of forums, and observed trends

May 29, 2020 | 12 Min Read

This week, Digital Shadows hosted a webinar covering dark web trends that we have recently observed, the risk impact associated...
3 Phishing Trends Organizations Should Watch Out For

3 Phishing Trends Organizations Should Watch Out For

May 20, 2020 | 16 Min Read

It’s only May, and is it just me, or has this already been the longest decade ever? Cyber-threat actors are...
The 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report: One CISO’s View

The 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report: One CISO’s View

May 19, 2020 | 6 Min Read

Sadly, Marvel’s Black Widow release date was pushed back as a result of COVID19, but thankfully the 2020 Verizon Data...
A NEW DECADE OF CYBER THREATS: LOOKING BACK AT THE TRENDING CYBER TOPICS OF Q1 2020

A NEW DECADE OF CYBER THREATS: LOOKING BACK AT THE TRENDING CYBER TOPICS OF Q1 2020

May 14, 2020 | 10 Min Read

Q1 2020 was packed full of significant global events, including military and geopolitical tensions and the onset of the COVID-19...
BitBazaar Market: Deception and Manipulation on the Dark Web

BitBazaar Market: Deception and Manipulation on the Dark Web

May 12, 2020 | 8 Min Read

It’s a BitBazaar that they thought they could deceive us!: A Soap opera featuring dark web forums and marketplaces “When...
Competitions on English-language cybercriminal forums: A stagnant competition model?

Competitions on English-language cybercriminal forums: A stagnant competition model?

May 5, 2020 | 9 Min Read

Russian-language cybercriminal forums aren’t the only ones to host competitions.  In January 2020, we published a blog about competitions on...
Charitable Endeavors on Cybercriminal Forums

Charitable Endeavors on Cybercriminal Forums

April 28, 2020 | 12 Min Read

One heart-warming aspect of modern society is the increased prevalence of charitable endeavors during times of crisis. Philanthropy has loomed...
Nulled: The modern cybercriminal forum to go mobile….?

Nulled: The modern cybercriminal forum to go mobile….?

April 22, 2020 | 9 Min Read

What’s more threatening than the thought of a cybercriminal sitting at their laptop and carefully manipulating their way into your...
What ‘The Wire’ can teach us about cybersecurity

What ‘The Wire’ can teach us about cybersecurity

April 21, 2020 | 12 Min Read

In the current era of self-isolation, remote work, and constant tweets offering epidemiological hot takes, now is the perfect time...
Zoom Security and Privacy Issues: Week in Review

Zoom Security and Privacy Issues: Week in Review

April 17, 2020 | 10 Min Read

In the last month, you’ve likely been hearing about the video conferencing app Zoom more than ever before. With so...
Recon: Dark web reconnaissance made to look easy

Recon: Dark web reconnaissance made to look easy

April 3, 2020 | 4 Min Read

Just as the rest of us enjoy the ease of obtaining all sorts of products provided by the countless e-commerce...
Coronavirus as a double-edged sword for cybercriminals: Desperation or opportunity?

Coronavirus as a double-edged sword for cybercriminals: Desperation or opportunity?

April 2, 2020 | 9 Min Read

The ongoing COVID-19 (aka coronavirus) pandemic is having a highly detrimental effect on most businesses and organizations, yet companies linked...
COVID-19: Companies and Verticals At Risk For Cyber Attacks

COVID-19: Companies and Verticals At Risk For Cyber Attacks

March 26, 2020 | 8 Min Read

  In our recent blog, How cybercriminals are taking advantage of COVID-19: Scams, fraud, and misinformation, Digital Shadows highlighted some...
Kapusta.World: The fiendish cabbage exemplifying cybercriminal marketing in the modern era

Kapusta.World: The fiendish cabbage exemplifying cybercriminal marketing in the modern era

March 24, 2020 | 8 Min Read

  Over the last few months, the Russian-language cybercriminal landscape has been invaded by cabbages. Or, specifically, one rather friendly-looking...
COVID-19: Dark Web Reactions

COVID-19: Dark Web Reactions

March 19, 2020 | 5 Min Read

  Digital Shadows has been researching the cybercriminal response to the COVID-19 outbreak sweeping across the globe. We’ve been monitoring...
Apollon Dark Web Marketplace: Exit Scams and DDoS Campaigns

Apollon Dark Web Marketplace: Exit Scams and DDoS Campaigns

March 17, 2020 | 8 Min Read

  Imagine logging on to your favorite e-commerce site, finding your favorite author’s newest book for sale, making the purchase,...
How cybercriminals are taking advantage of COVID-19: Scams, fraud, and misinformation

How cybercriminals are taking advantage of COVID-19: Scams, fraud, and misinformation

March 12, 2020 | 9 Min Read

In the wake of large-scale global events, cybercriminals are among the first to attempt to sow discord, spread disinformation, and...
How One Cybercriminal Forum is Helping to Address Suicide Awareness

How One Cybercriminal Forum is Helping to Address Suicide Awareness

March 10, 2020 | 4 Min Read

  The world can be a stressful place regardless of circumstance. Yet we do not normally associate mental health awareness...
Dark Web Search Engine Kilos: Tipping the Scales in Favor of Cybercrime

Dark Web Search Engine Kilos: Tipping the Scales in Favor of Cybercrime

March 5, 2020 | 7 Min Read

With the recent indictment of Larry Harmon, alleged operator of the Bitcoin tumbling service Helix and darknet search engine Grams,...
FBI IC3 2019: Cybercrime results in over $3.5 billion in reported losses

FBI IC3 2019: Cybercrime results in over $3.5 billion in reported losses

March 3, 2020 | 8 Min Read

  On February 11th, we were treated to an early surprise: The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released its...
The Ecosystem of Phishing: From Minnows to Marlins

The Ecosystem of Phishing: From Minnows to Marlins

February 20, 2020 | 31 Min Read

YOU JUST WON $1,000. CLICK HERE TO CLAIM YOUR REWARD!  IMMEDIATE! NEED WIRE DETAILS. Check out this cat doing cat...
Cybercriminal Forums on Valentine’s Day – A nice night to “Netflix and steal”…

Cybercriminal Forums on Valentine’s Day – A nice night to “Netflix and steal”…

February 17, 2020 | 6 Min Read

  It’s the night before Valentine’s Day, and it suddenly clicks in your mind that you have totally overlooked one...
Dark web travel agencies: Take a trip on the dark side

Dark web travel agencies: Take a trip on the dark side

February 4, 2020 | 11 Min Read

For at least the last two years, an ecosystem of fraud has been perpetrated by cybercriminals against nearly every major...
Competitions on Russian-language cybercriminal forums: Sharing expertise or threat actor showboating?

Competitions on Russian-language cybercriminal forums: Sharing expertise or threat actor showboating?

January 30, 2020 | 9 Min Read

  You might be feeling the pinch at this time of year… The financial demands of Christmas have taken their...
How the Cybercriminal Underground Mirrors the Real World

How the Cybercriminal Underground Mirrors the Real World

January 21, 2020 | 7 Min Read

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall. Who’s the best cybercriminal of them all? The terms cybercriminal and hacker often conjure up...
Cryptonite: Ransomware’s answer to Superman…

Cryptonite: Ransomware’s answer to Superman…

January 14, 2020 | 4 Min Read

  Update: It appears that the Cryptonite website is no longer active, such is the rapidly changing nature of cybercrime....