Computer-supported cooperative crime

Vaibhav Garg, Sadia Afroz, Rebekah Overdorf, Rachel Greenstadt

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    This work addresses fundamental questions about the nature of cybercriminal organization. We investigate the organization of three underground forums: BlackhatWorld, Carders and L33tCrew to understand the nature of distinct communities within a forum, the structure of organization and the impact of enforcement, in particular banning members, on the structure of these forums. We find that each forum is divided into separate competing communities. Smaller communities are limited to 100–230 members, have a two-tiered hierarchy akin to a gang, and focus on a subset of cybercrime activities. Larger communities may have thousands of members and a complex organization with a distributed multi-tiered hierarchy more akin to a mob; such communities also have a more diverse cybercrime portfolio compared to smaller cohorts. Finally, despite differences in size and cybercrime portfolios, members on a single forum have similar operational practices, for example, they use the same electronic currency.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationFinancial Cryptography and Data Security - 19th International Conference, FC 2015, Revised Selected Papers
    EditorsTatsuaki Okamoto, Rainer Bohme
    PublisherSpringer Verlag
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Print)9783662478530
    StatePublished - 2015
    Event19th International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security, FC 2015 - San Juan, Puerto Rico
    Duration: Jan 26 2015Jan 30 2015

    Publication series

    NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
    ISSN (Print)0302-9743
    ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


    Conference19th International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security, FC 2015
    Country/TerritoryPuerto Rico
    CitySan Juan


    • Cybercrime
    • Dunbar number
    • Economics
    • Social network analysis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Theoretical Computer Science
    • General Computer Science


    Dive into the research topics of 'Computer-supported cooperative crime'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this