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Examining signals of trust in criminal markets online

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Holt, TJ 
Smirnova, O 


This study examines the signals of trust in stolen data advertisements by analysing the structural and situational factors that influence the type of feedback sellers receive. Specifically, this article explores the factors associated with positive and negative buyer feedback from the purchase of stolen credit card data in a series of advertisements from a sample of Russian and English language forums where individuals buy and sell personal information. The results of zero-inflated Poisson regression models suggest that the sellers may influence their likelihood of receiving feedback by specifying the type of payment mechanism, choosing the advertisement language and selecting the type of market they operate within. The implications of this study for our understanding of online illicit markets, criminological theory and policy-making will be explored in depth.



48 Law and Legal Studies, 4805 Legal Systems, 4402 Criminology, 44 Human Society

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Journal of Cybersecurity

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Oxford University Press (OUP)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/M020320/1)
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, Cyber Security Division (DHSSandT/ CSD) Broad Agency Announcement 11.02, the Government of Australia and SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific [N66001-13-C-0131]; National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice [2010-IJ-CX-1676, 2010]