Quantitative assessment of risk reduction with cybercrime black market monitoring

L. Allodi, W. Shim, F. Massacci

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Cybercrime is notoriously maintained and empowered by the underground economy,manifested in black markets. In such markets, attack tools and vulnerability exploitsare constantly traded. In this paper, we focus on making a quantitative assessment of the riskof attacks coming from such markets, and investigating the expected reduction in overall attacks against final users if, for example, vulnerabilities traded in the black marketswere all to be promptly patched. In order to conduct the analysis, we mainly use the data on (a) vulnerabilities bundled in 90+ attack tools traded in the black markets collected by us;(b) actual records of 9x10^7 attacks collected fromSymantec's Data Sharing Programme WINE.Our results illustrate that black market vulnerabilities are an important source of risk for thepopulation of users; we further show that vulnerability mitigation strategies based on black marketsmonitoring may outperform traditional strategies based on vulnerability CVSS scores byproviding up to 20% more expected reduction in attacks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - IEEE CS Security and Privacy Workshops, SPW 2013
Place of PublicationPiscataway
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-1-4799-0458-7
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event2nd IEEE Security and Privacy Workshops, SPW 2013 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 23 May 201324 May 2013


Conference2nd IEEE Security and Privacy Workshops, SPW 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • black markets
  • cybercime
  • exploits
  • vulnerabilities


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