miscreant market

Schneier points out this paper (pdf) reporting on patterns the researches found by listening on on the IRC channels where evil-hackers buy and sell credit cards numbers, bot-net rentals, and the other commodities of the spamming and identity theft industry.  The authors refer to the actors in this market as miscreants.  I guess I can’t really call this a miscreant market; since we usually name markets not after their participants but after the commodity exhanged; as in meat market.

This market is interesting as a case study.  Since it’s commodity is illegal it has a harder time condensing out hubs for the exchange to rendezvous around.  They use IRC channels because that medium is a bit more peer to peer than other choices.  I presume that this community is the one that will finally build a real anonymous peer to peer IRC network.  Well pseudo-anonymous because like any market they need to have a reputation bank of some kind to keep the books of the repeating prisoner’s dilemma.

Had to write this.  I couldn’t reisist getting the word prisoner, miscreant, and evil-hacker all together in a posting about market structure; mentioning peer-to-peer is desert.

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