According to her data Sixgill, the volume of members of the forums on the dark web is increasing significantly, with the number of visitors having already increased by 44%, during the first lockdown for him COVID-19.
The security company analyzed five of his popular forums Dark web (in English and Russian) to better understand their popularity over time.
Although some forum members have grown faster than others, and for a few months some have been more popular, the overall trend shows a steady increase in the number of users who visit all the dark web sites.
O Dov Lerner, head of research at Sixgill, stressed that this finding is very important, because the increase in members in dark web forums means increase in criminal activity in general.
Even more interesting was the fact that the numbers grew very fast from January to the spring of 2020.
"Previous Sixgill reports have identified one huge increase in certain types of crime during the lockdown for him COVID-19. These types are related to gaming accounts, violated RDP credentials, money laundering, drugs, etc. This research shows that the number of participants in dark web forums has also increased during this period", Lerner explained.
"Why do lockdowns lead to a massive increase in users of dark web forums? Some of these users are bored at home and decided to explore. Others may be interested in turning to crime during the financial crisis caused by the pandemic and targeting employees who work from home, through ransomware and Phishing".
The research also revealed that while the numbers are increasing users, only a small number seem to be responsible for the vast majority of posts in the forums. In fact, 20% of participants are responsible for 73% of posts.
Researchers believe that this may be due to the fact that the participants are young and inexperienced criminals, who come in just to observe but do not actively participate. There is also the possibility that they are experienced users, which create "Burner" accounts to post from a new username each time.
Source: Infosecurity Magazine