“The French Underground: Under a Shroud of Extreme Caution”, another interesting report published by Trend Micro on illegal activities in the Dark Web.
The dark web is a privileged place where hackers and criminals offer for sale or for rent any kind of illegal product and services. The moth popular Dark Net, the Tor network, host numerous black markets where it is possible to find any kind of product, including drugs, weapons, and malicious codes.
Cedric Pernet, a threat researcher at Trend Micro, have discovered that a group of French hackers is selling concealed weapons including so-called pen guns. The weapons fire .22 Long Rifle bullets and are offered for sale on highly secretive crime forums.
The weapons are being sold for €150 (US$169), the sellers also published a video that shows how the pen guns work.
The same hackers are also offering for sale concealed weapons like knuckle dusters and knives.
The security expert explained that the concealed weapons are a prerogative of some French crime forums where it is possible find other strange goods, including euthanasia kits.
“Pernet finds the concealed weapons are unique to the French crime forums, along with euthanasia kits, and bank account registration services which help criminals outsource the tremendous risk stemming from France’s requirement that accounts be opened in person at branches.” reported ElReg. “French criminals are also willing to cop traffic infringement demerit points and have their details put down as a nominated driver, for a price.”
The offer, of course, includes also classic goods and services including, exploit kits, payment card data, drugs, and data dumps.
According to the expert, a distinctive sign of the French criminal underground is the high levels of identity vetting, differently from other criminal ecosystems it is very secretive and it is hard for wannabe criminals to enter the crime ring.
This characteristic is opposite to the approach of the North America criminal communities as explained Trend Micro is a previous analysis.
“It doesn’t exist in the dark web as much as other undergrounds do, or practice as much security,” ,”Essentially, it’s become a gun show for everyone as long as they can participate and are willing to pay.” says Tom Kellermann, chief cybersecurity officer at Trend Micro.
“The North American Underground primarily caters to customers within the region–users based in the United States (US) and Canada. Unsurprisingly, most of the offerings (stolen accounts, products and services, and fake documents) are US based. This is consistent with what we see in the Japanese1 and Brazilian2 undergrounds and suggests that US-based information is most sought after in it.” states the report.
Crooks in the French underground hide their activities in the dark web, french black markets enforce mandatory five percent commission escrow payments in order to avoid scams.