Our new report is out on EPJ Data Science!
In this work we study the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on illicit online trade. We monitor 30 dark web marketplaces from January to November 16 2020, finding the presence of different kinds of COVID-19 related listings: PPEs, medicines (e.g. hydroxychloroquine) and medical frauds (e.g. vaccines), but also guides on scamming and COVID-19 tests. We measure their presence throughout the whole time period, showing correlations with public attention, using twitter and wikipedia, and misinformation. We finally show the indirect effect of the pandemic on these platforms, evidenced by an increase in mentions of delay and sales in non COVID-19 related listings.
To know more about our work, read the article here!
Bracci, A., Nadini, M., Aliapoulios, M. et al. Dark Web Marketplaces and COVID-19: before the vaccine. EPJ Data Sci. 10, 6 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1140/epjds/s13688-021-00259-w