Post Sun May 21, 2006 1:02 am

The Net's Not-So-Secret Economy of Crime

My naiveté was alleviated with an eye-popping tour of underground Web sites, conducted by two executives from RSA Cyota, an online security firm that works for banks like Barclays (Research) and Washington Mutual (Research). They showed me a variety of sites frequented by people who steal and trade credit card numbers and then use them to steal money.

This infrastructure for online crime is far more multi-layered and sophisticated than I ever imagined.

Says Marc Gaffan, a marketer at RSA: "There's an organized industry out there with defined roles and specialties. There are means of communications, rules of engagement, and even ethics. It's a whole value chain of facilitating fraud, and only the last steps of the chain are actually dedicated to translating activity into money."

For full story: ... d_fortune/