Disrupting the Underground Economy of Cybercrime

The Sarah and John Graves Cyber Security Distinguished Lecture Series

Damon McCoy, New York University

Abstract: Internet crime has become increasingly dependent on the underground economy: a loose federation of specialists selling capabilities, services, and resources explicitly tailored to the abuse ecosystem. Through these emerging markets, modern criminal entrepreneurs piece together dozens of à la carte components into entirely new criminal endeavors. From an abuse fighting perspective, criminal reliance on this black market introduces fragile dependencies that, if disrupted, undermine entire operations that as a composite appear intractable to protect against. In this talk, I will describe my work on understanding the economics, capabilities and limitations of cybercriminal enterprises and how this has led to the disruption of the counterfeit pharmaceutical spam payment processing ecosystem. I will then talk about a similar ongoing study in the counterfeit luxury goods space. These examples illustrate that, by understanding the socio-economic underpinnings of cybercrime, we can undermine cybercriminal ecosystems more efficiently than by using purely technical approaches.

Bio: Damon McCoy is an assistant professor at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. His research focuses on empirically measuring the security and privacy of technology systems and their intersections with society. Some of his current projects explore the socio-economics of e-crime, censorship evasion, anonymous communication, cyber-physical systems.

Lunch will be provided.

Monday, November 7, 2016 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Helmerich Hall, Room 219
The University of Tulsa, 2900 East 5th Street, Tulsa, OK 74104, USA

Event Type

Lecture/Speaker, Meeting


General Public, Faculty, Students, Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students


College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Tandy School of Computer Science 



Contact Name

Tyler Moore

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