Chapter 15: The looming shadow of illicit trade on the internet: botnets, malware and malvertising
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The deep web hosts darknet marketplaces that sell a variety of wares, such as narcotics and weapons, and is testimony to the growth of illicit trade on the internet. The challenge of websites that host digital content piracy is exacerbated through linkages to a variety of malware schemes that have created a lucrative crimeware economy. Digital thieves are luring unsuspecting consumers as digital bait to derive profits from a variety of malware schemes, such as ransomware and malvertising. The hijacking of computers to gain access to their digital content so that it can then be ransomed back to consumers or organizations is considered to be one of the leading threats of internet crime. Malvertising schemes are plaguing the interactive advertising business—criminals are reaping profits by posting legitimate advertisements at content theft sites or using an army of botnets to fake advertising traffic. A variety of stratagems are evolving to curb this illicit trade by way of fostering multi-lateral enforcement tactics; updating legislation to circumvent this type of crime on the internet; training digital savvy citizens; and creating private-sector remedies.

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