An analysis of underground forums

Marti Motoyama, Damon McCoy, Kirill Levchenko, Stefan Savage, Geoffrey M. Voelker

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


Underground forums, where participants exchange information on abusive tactics and engage in the sale of illegal goods and services, are a form of online social network (OSN). However, unlike traditional OSNs such as Facebook, in underground forums the pattern of communications does not simply encode pre-existing social relationships, but instead captures the dynamic trust relationships forged between mutually distrustful parties. In this paper, we empirically characterize six different underground forums - - BlackHatWorld, Carders, HackSector, HackE1ite, Freehack, and L33tCrew - - examining the properties of the social networks formed within, the content of the goods and services being exchanged, and lastly, how individuals gain and lose trust in this setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIMC'11 - Proceedings of the 2011 ACM SIGCOMM Internet Measurement Conference
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event2011 ACM SIGCOMM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC'11 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: Nov 2 2011Nov 4 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC


Other2011 ACM SIGCOMM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC'11


  • online social networks
  • underground forums

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


Dive into the research topics of 'An analysis of underground forums'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this