Flashpoint, a business intelligence agency specialising in the deep and dark web, recently published a report on the economy of criminal networks online. The report looks not only at where criminals go to communicate on the internet, but also how their communications are structured, and the ways in which online communication has changed the criminal landscape.
Far from the kind of jack-of-all-trades portrayed in TV dramas, today’s cybercriminals structure their operations much like a business, each person having their own specialisms and reporting to the people above them. This helps to ensure that every member of the network takes on tasks that don’t overwhelm them, and often also ensures that the level of communication is kept to a minimum. Each party is only in contact with the level directly above, thus decreasing the likelihood of breaking up the entire network if a single individual’s identity is uncovered by law enforcement.