Before exploring how stolen goods are bought and sold on the Dark Web, it would be beneficial to have some understanding of virtual crime. Peter Grabosky notes that virtual crime is not any different than crime in the real world — it’s just executed in a new medium:
‘virtual criminality’ is basically the same as the terrestrial crime with which we are familiar. To be sure, some of the manifestations are new. But a great deal of crime committed with or against computers differs only in terms of the medium. While the technology of implementation, and particularly its efficiency, may be without precedent, the crime is fundamentally familiar. It is less a question of something completely different than a recognizable crime committed in a completely different way (Grabosky, 243).
This goes for stolen goods as well. People have been stealing goods since the very beginning of human history. The fact that it is executed differently does not make it any different in terms of criminality, but the Internet definitely facilitates these crimes.
Like the Silk Road, there are dedicated sites that let users trade stolen goods and information. The fact that this is conducted entirely on the Internet means that goods are not only physical, but intellectual, such as passwords and access to accounts. Some thieves offer passwords for Surface Web paid-pornography sites, while some others offer Paypal passwords (with the account balances, of course):
What is seemingly more terrifying are the people who will find whatever you need. That’s right, certain sites offered electronics and gadgets on a case by case basis, and would provide you with a quote if you messaged them for information.
What does one make of this? As we’ve noted, thievery is by no means a new crime, but the new ways of doing business facilitate criminality. For instance, if one were to steal an object out in public, there would presumably be CCTV cameras or witnesses to the crime. In the Dark Web, there is (arguably) no surveillance of this kind. Crime has gone from a taboo action to a matter of business on the Deep Web.
Next, Weapons and Murder