Patrolling the Dark Net

If you’ve ever been burglarized, you know the drill: police officers arrive, they look briefly around your home, and then they ask you for a detailed list of the stolen items. In some cases, the stolen items are recovered within a few days and eventually returned.

When cops find stolen goods quickly, it’s most likely because they know where to look. Burglars aren’t interested in keeping your flat-screen monitor and Xbox; they want cash. They bring their loot to a middleman (also known as a fence) who specializes in reselling stolen goods. Usually, the stolen goods sit in the fence’s shed or basement until a buyer is found.

Cybercrime is similar to burglary, except that cyber criminals steal electronic information rather than electronic gear, and the stolen information sits in hidden databases instead of someone’s basement.

There’s also another critical difference between cybercrime and ordinary burglary: when your home has been burglarized, you know it immediately. There are broken doors, smashed windows, and an open space on the wall where your widescreen television was mounted. When a cybercrime is committed, it often remains undetected for weeks or months. The time lag creates an advantage for cyber criminals, giving them an edge that ordinary criminals rarely enjoy.

Underneath the Surface

Detecting cybercrime and defending your organization from cyber criminals requires understanding how the bad guys operate and gaining a basic familiarity with the ...

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