Many people often associate Bitcoin with illegal and fraudulent activity on the Internet. But a new study goes to show Bitcoin is not being used for illicit activity as often as one might think. In fact, carding and PayPal fraud remain the two biggest payment threats on the internet right now. A renewed interest in these types of activity is coming from the deep web, which will hardly surprise anyone.
The study conducted by Ericsson Marin, Paulo Shakarian and Ahmad Diab paints an interesting picture of online criminal activity. Contrary to what most people may want to believe, Bitcoin is not such a big threat in the online illegal activity circuit. In fact, the most commonly used payment options pose a severe security risk.
Carding and PayPal Fraud Are Very Popular
Conducting an automated deep web search for the term “carding products” and “Paypal-related items” yielded some unexpected results. While it is public knowledge just about anything can be found on deep web marketplaces these days, the number of results was a lot higher than anticipated. Data dumps, email hacking tools, and botnets returned plenty of search results as well.
Keeping in mind how this survey was conducted over the course of six months, it is evident carding and PayPal fraud are still a booming business. The team scraped 17 different deep web marketplaces – albeit there are several dozens in existence – to come up with these findings.
To put this into perspective, the number of products related to carding sits at 1263, across 16 out of 17 marketplaces. Paypal-related tricks are ranked second with 1103 results across 16 markets. The number of vendors for both of these “items” is well above the 300 mark. This seems to indicate a significant number of internet criminals are focusing their attention on these particular items.
One thing to keep in mind is how the same “items” will pop up across several deep web marketplaces. However, the findings in this study have removed any duplicate entries found and only reflect the number of individual postings. That is quite a worrisome outlook for the credit card and PayPal industry moving forward.
Even though payment cards and PayPal have been around for some time now, neither of these solutions is secure. PayPal relies on payment cards and bank accounts, yet uses a very simplistic login system without additional verification methods. Debit and credit cards need to be entered with all of their details when purchasing goods and services online, making them a prime target for hackers.
Bitcoin Does Not Make The Top 10
That being said, there are illicit Bitcoin materials sold on the deep web as well. It is unclear if this pertains to stolen funds, phishing sites, or other ways to steal users’ funds, though. A total of 443 search results came up for Bitcoin, putting it well out of the top 10 of most commonly sold products on the deep web.
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