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10 Dark Web Black Market Terms Every Cybersecurity Professional Should Know

by Itay Kozuch / June 7, 2018

Whether you’ve visited the Dark Web or not, you’re likely aware that it’s comprised of various anonymous forums and black markets. Many of these Dark Web black markets are used for illegal activities, like buying and selling drugs, weapons, confidential documents and illegal services. While you may not be in the market for any of these items, it’s important to understand how the Dark Web and its black markets work so that you can better protect yourself and your organization.

To help you better understand the Dark Web, we’ve put together a list of 10 black market terms you may not be familiar with. In addition, be sure to download our Complete Dark Web Black Market Glossary to understand the full spectrum of terms, slang and basic concepts you should know as a cyber security professional.

  1. Exit Scam: A term used to describe a situation where a market administrator or a vendor wants to retire, and is doing so while taking as much money as possible from their buyers.
  2. Feedback: A message left from a seller to the vendor, or vice versa, about how well a transaction went. It is considered good form to not reveal any information about the methods the seller used to ship the order nor the vendor’s or seller’s location or details. This is made publicly available to allow users of a site to determine if they should trust the vendor or seller.
  3. IRC (Internet Relay Chat): A communication system allowing the easy transfer of text-based messages. It is intended for group discussions in sessions called channels. IRC channels are often used by black markets vendors to provide an update on an arrival of new goods or important massages.
  4. Processing Time: Time required by a market or vendor in order to complete a transaction. Generally this involves waiting for sufficient confirmations on the blockchain to ensure a deposit has been met, or to run funds through a Bitcoin mixer on the market. Also used for the time required by a vendor once getting a transaction to put the goods and send it via the mail services.
  5. Samples: In the context of a market, a free or low-cost item sent to a well-known buyer in order to establish legitimacy. This proves that at least the seller has access to a product and is capable of delivering it in as secure way. The receiving party is expected to leave public feedback regarding the quality of the products and how well it’s been packaged.
  6. Selective Scamming: A scam technique where known individuals are sent products, but large transactions or those from unknowns are not sent out. For a buyer, this will mean that they claim to have not received goods that were delivered or that the goods were of poor quality/misrepresented.
  7. Shilling: Creating accounts on Reddit / Forums for the sole intention of posting Positive / Negative posts about someone or something while trying to make them look authentic.
  8. Shipping: Process of a vendor packaging and sending goods. This is extremely difficult for vendors, and how many have been caught. The most effective methods will appear to be individual packages and correspondence from legitimate businesses. It is considered poor form to disclose any specifics of a shipment made, as it could be used to target a vendor.
  9. SIGAINT: Tor-based darknet email service that allows you to send email without revealing your location or identity. Its name is derived from SIGINT (“Signals Intelligence”), which refers to intelligence-gathering by intercepting signals.
  10. ZULU Time: – UTC-0 Western European time zone.

Want to continue learning about Dark Web black market forums?

Download our Complete Dark Web Black Market Glossary
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Tags: Black Market dark web underground forum underground market

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Itay Kozuch

Itay Kozuch

Itay Kozuch is the Director of Threat Research at IntSights. He is a cybersecurity expert with over a decade of experience managing cyber-security and threat research. Prior to IntSights, Itay served as a Manager and Head of Cyber Technologies at KPMG. He previously led cyber projects and served as a CISO for major companies in Europe, West Africa and Central America.