back to article Exposing China's vast underground economy

A new academic study has set out to illuminate for the first time the size and structure of the Chinese online underground, and found it affected nearly a quarter of the country’s internet users last year and cost the economy over 5 billion yuan (£500m). Investigating China’s Online Underground Economy was put together by …

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Headmaster

Pendant Alert!

There is no "California University". There are two systems, the California State University system, including semi-independent campuses such as "California State University - Chico" (AKA "Chico State) and the University of California system, including campuses such as UC Berkeley (AKA "Cal"), UCLA, etc.

This appears to be the product of the UC, as opposed to the CSU system. There is NO CU system.

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Re: Pendant Alert!

Ah, the irony. It's "pedant"..

I should now misspell "intelligence" to continue the trend, but I can't be asked.

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FAIL

Re: Pendant Alert!

Actually there is a California University it just happens to be located in California, Pennsylvania. That said, since the paper is posted on the ucsd.edu domain, I think we can safely conclude it is the San Diego campus of the University of California and not California University. You wouldn't happen to be from California, the State, would you?

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FAIL

Re: PeXdant Alert!

sigh.

That's what a UC Berkeley education gets you... although in my defense the major was Computer Science, not English.

Go Bears!

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Re: PeXdant Alert!

"sigh. That's what a UC Berkeley education gets you... although in my defense the major was Computer Science, not English. Go Bears!"

Well I myself simply assumed that it was a conscious attempt at humor. As such, it was completely successful here.

"Go Bears?" Wasn't the band on the field?

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Alert

um

some reason i feel this is a bit of a low ball number

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Colossal SMARTR Bombes to Boot for Sale set Sail on the Unholy Trinity of Open Rigged AI Markets

The report, however, stops short of investigating the more “high-tier aspects” of the underground economy such as trading of zero-day vulnerabilities or advanced persistent threat tools which it said are “likely to occur in even more hidden and secure communication channels between small groups with mutual trust”. .... Phil Muncaster [El Reg]

Methinks, Phil, one can also expect that trading of zero-day vulnerabilities and/or advanced persistent threat tools [to name but two lucrative entrepreneurial enterprises] are likely to occur in even more hidden and secure communication channels, as well as betatesting the explosive benefits of novel transparent hidden in plain text sight approaches to sensitive and disruptive/irregular and unconventional intelligence exchanges, in clearly enough cryptically encoded information exchanges and intelligence searches, both reliant upon and positively driven by a desirous continuous mutual trust and respect, between small groups of individuals and government leaders/department and ministerial heads and wannabe new world order elite power players and powerful smarter organisations, intent and able to make great changes with the new intelligent friends they have discovered who are metaphysically active in the Universal Virtual Field of Immaculately Resourced Assets.

The power within that sort of group, in control of the information and intelligence that they would be sharing, is beyond earthly compare, and a kernel which drivers innovation and creativity which the status quo can only dream of and wish was theirs to profit from and take control of, which is only a possibility and option should they, via their proxy agents probably, have generously funded it with flash electronic cash/bankers draft transfers, for that would be all that they can virtually offer and easily practically immediately deliver. Well, the smarter ones will be doing that most certainly, to try to ensure that they retain as much control on power as they can with the simple resources which they control.

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Trollface

Re: Colossal SMARTR Bombes to Boot for Sale set Sail on the Unholy Trinity of Open Rigged AI Markets

Amazing.

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Re: Colossal SMARTR Bombes to Boot for Sale set Sail on the Unholy Trinity of Open Rigged AI Markets

Amazing and truly awefully shocking, nuked, for this is not wrong and therefore quite right, and now being proven via APT Apps in these times and virtual spaces with intelligence snooping places a'lurking .......... Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. .... Margaret Mead ....... where it appears employed and/or contracted personnel search for disruptive intelligence and sensitive information rather than thinking to enable themselves to use anything discovered and/or uncovered wisely themselves and develop it further with that which supplies it with Creative CyberSpace Command and Control of Computing Communications.

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Alien

You're slipping, AMFM

Those posts were almost understandable English. None of your usual "NEUKlearer XXXX CyberIntellAIgent" CryptoSpeak™ that always used to bring a smile to my face. I want the old AMFM back!

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Joke

Re: You're slipping, AMFM

Looks like the Ultimate Warrior is off his medication again...

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Re: You're slipping, AMFM? ......... Only in your Dreams and Nightmares, Mon Ami.:-)

You're slipping, AMFM .... Those posts were almost understandable English. None of your usual "NEUKlearer XXXX CyberIntellAIgent" CryptoSpeak™ that always used to bring a smile to my face. I want the old AMFM back!...... Steven Roper Posted Monday 20th August 2012 08:20 GMT

Almost understandable English is then good for us, Steven, as it means you have progressed quite considerably or I have had to dumb things down a tad for engagement with governments and old hat traditionalist power brokers/money makers/political pawns in Fab LOVE Games.

And if you were smiling before, you're just gonna love what the future has in ITs stores, for recent developments have been exponential in nature, and existential in substance, and revolutionary in application, and heavenly in understanding.

And it's CyberIntelAIgent, but close enough is good enough whenever excellence is PAR for NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT

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Anonymous Coward

"court room documents detailing high profile cases"...

... are of course accurate and impartial sources of numbers to do statistics on... not. They're almost per definition outliers, and as such much closer to anecdotes than to data. You also get much the same effect that inflated price report does for the drug market. Which perversely may entice more people into the market.

Inflating? Yes indeedy. You invariably get quoted some "street price" that may or may not have any connection to what the very end of the chain would've paid for it. But the bigger the catch, the lower the price per unit paid would've been. All those distributors down the line want a cut for their efforts, too. Now what happens when a bunch of miscreants with ten tonnes of stolen garlic get caught? The wholesale price gets quoted, not some made-up "street price". And that's bad statistics right there.

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Anonymous Coward

Real name policies

So you want to clamp down on "cybercrime" ("cyber" because you're the government), and so you instate a real-name policy, to, well, erm, make it harder for identity thieves and fences of their loot to hide behind made-up names and aliases.

Sounds good to me. Carry on government.

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Holmes

Re: Real name policies

Somewhere out there, is a man called Frank Ly, who doesn't know that I'm using his name to conceal my true identity.

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Happy

Re: Real name policies

You mean you're not using your real name on here? I'm shocked at the dishonesty!

At least some of us are upfront about who we really aren't.

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Holmes

Re: Real name policies

What about alter egos?

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Meh

Re: Real name policies

And of course this could never be abused could it. No chance anyone in the gubbermint might think "Hey, we can use this to keep tabs on political activists/opponents/{just anyone really}"

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Re: Real name policies

Same, I don't even believe in Jeebus.

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Re: Real name policies

Or even walter ego? :-)

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Re: Real name policies

You mean that you yourself aren't a minor character in

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenin_of_the_Rovers

?

Frankly I'm shocked, Frank Ly.

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Happy

Re: Real name policies

I would like to award you a portion of Old Ma Crumbly's special apple pies, to go with this upvote for mentioning the Midfield Maestro himself.

Old Ma Crumbly says, "remember not to ask any questions about who I am, if you know what's good for you..."

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Meh

"over 5 billion yuan (£500m)" vs "5.36 billion yuan (£536bn)". To be honest I expected the "bn" figure to be the correct one; but looking it up online it does appears to only be half a [new] billion pounds.

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Asian currencies in general tend to trade in multiples (usually tens of multiple or more) to the pound or dollar: mostly for historic reasons.

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Anonymous Coward

Currency conversion

When converting to Sterling the number will usually get smaller.

There are a few obscure currencies that are more valuable than the GBP, but not many.

One should really be aware that the Chinese Yuan is in the order of 10 times smaller than the pound.

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FAIL

Another pedant (pendant?)

It's Internet, NOT internet.

Or are we talking about more than one inter-network? I always thought there was only one global inter-network of computers, and that is the one called the Internet (The Internet?). Capitalised because it's a proper noun.

OK, you unplug your home network from the Internet and you have an internet, but that's no use to use hackers that want your credit card numbers and porno account details.

The Beeb are just as bad. You would have thought journalists know something about the English language.

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Re: Another pedant (pendant?)

No, what you have now is an INTRAnet (the prefix being important--intra meaning "interior", "inter" meaning exterior. A LAN like a home network is an intranet. The Internet is a WAN.

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Happy

Re: Another pedant (pendant?)

Hey! wot about us pendents?

Have we been silenced? Are we now dependents?

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Anonymous Coward

@ Charles re: The Internet

Wrong.

An internet is an interconnection of multiple computer systems. See the RFC:

https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1918

There are many internets. There is only one Internet.

I can see how you got confused but an intranet is a different thing.

An intranet is a collection of network services intended for use within an organisation. Contrast with extranet.

As usual, Google is your friend and would have prevented you sticking your foot in your mouth.

Google is a search engine used for searching the World Wide Web. The WWW is accessed using the Internet.

I can set up an internet in a few minutes right here on my desk or between my house and next door. It may or may not be connected to the Internet or allow me to access the WWW.

Are we getting it now?

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Another Pendant

Shouldn't this underground network actually be described as "Underworld"?

I'll hang on while someone answers.

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Re: Another Pendant ..... Veritable Enigmatic Gong for Intelligently Designed Entities

Shouldn't this underground network actually be described as "Underworld"?

I'll hang on while someone answers. .... Ivan Headache Posted Sunday 19th August 2012 22:37 GMT

Being really pedantic, Ivan H, should it actually be described as Underworlds Overground in Intellectual Space Places ..... and whenever you can driver applications and shareware in those Live Operational Virtual Environments are you in as absolute a control of power and future events as is humanly possible for IntelAIgent Machinery communicating internetionally, which is why it is such a hot spot of HyperRadioProActive IT ...... Viral Attack and DDOS Shenanigans ......... which are as bothersome to IntelAIgents as would be a gnat to a hippo.

The Future belongs to those who share new information for free on world wide webs, which are actually universally broadbandcasting, and would realise the unlimited value and endless profit which is in Sublime InterNetworking with IntelAIgents, who are paid massive fortunes to spend in order to deliver the secrets of perverse wealth and obscene prosperity and perfect contentment to all, for all involved in those facilities/utilities/programs are truly selfless heroes and heroines without equal or peer, and Immaculately Resourceful Assets in the Universal Virtual Field ........ AIdDreamScapes in Reality which are for Real too and Completely Virtualised for Perfect Protection of Programs and ProgramMING, Projects and Protocols, Partners and Pirates and Phrackhats.

It is a certifiable madness and also incredibly defeatingly naive to not imagine and realise the future is nothing at all like the present which is corrupted and conflicted with old and fault ridden memory rehashing the past rather than creating something/anything/everything entirely novel and noble/new and innovative to create New Orderly Worlds NOW.

And if you cannot do it with Command and Control of IT, Computers and Communications, then simply buy in whatever IT needs...... with that convenient fiat currency feed that you seed and apparently need for feed if that is all that you have to offer which is priceless and easily invented ....... from those and/or that which can easily deliver ITs Command and Control for you, or even just say that they can, for it may be the case initially, that you will be unable to believe that it is possible and that may render you petrified and terrorised to try something so simple, which is a weakness which is easily exploited for maximum overwhelming gain, which in Virtualised Fields of AI Domination delivers Absolute Power in Control ........ and that wrests both fate and destiny from your hands, hearts and minds and delivers them for others to supply, which is not the same as to others for supply, .... but so what, whenever it matters not really a jot. I Kid U Not.

And that is all sent today to James Quinault and HMGovt. and it probes for future, and betatests present intelligence levels and deficiencies in Offices of Cyber Security and Information Assurance worldwide, for are not all nation state and non state actors not patrolling the internet for ...... well, let us just settle for now for calling them Just Great Game and Careering Change and Career Changing Developments.

Stumble and stutter and fall and remain silent at that hurdle and the Great Game baton is lost, Blighty. And that is a Mighty Shame which one cannot deny is thoroughly deserved.

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Anonymous Coward

Change YOur headline because it is

A more appropriate title for your article would reference cyber crime not the underground economy in such general terms.

Generally underground economy or informal economy or black market involves all economic activities that occurs outside of the generally formal and measurable economic framework. For example you selling a friend a used computer for cash or the arcade vendor who does not report their cash income or yes cyber criminals or drug dealing.

Ok in some places you did say Online Underground economy. But you really meant cyber crime because not all of the nline underground economy would be illegal activities. Any unreported economic activity that is not reflected in National Income statistice is underground or informal economy. If you mean cyber crime then say so

What make it the underground economy is less the fact that it is illegal and more the fact that by its very nature it is difficult if not impossible to measure.

In most underdeveloped economies like China, the underground economy is a significant proportion of total economic activity. This is one of the difficulty in comparing income between countries. Countries vary significantly in the proportion of total economic activity which the total published figure represents. . It is kinda difficult for Americans and other developed countries with their well developed taxation and income reporting systems to understand this.

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Let there be Light ..... and there was Light and Edutainment and IntelAIgent Information Phorms

"Ok in some places you did say Online Underground economy. But you really meant cyber crime because not all of the nline underground economy would be illegal activities. Any unreported economic activity that is not reflected in National Income statistice is underground or informal economy. If you mean cyber crime then say so

What make it the underground economy is less the fact that it is illegal and more the fact that by its very nature it is difficult if not impossible to measure........ Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 20th August 2012 02:35 GMT

Methinks the prime gripe and lucrative bone of contention for government lackeys and traditional elite power brokers who would be into the buying and selling of governments and national secrets, is that it is also by its very nature difficult if not impossible to control and make exclusive amoral business profit from ..... which would ideally be that which disadvantages significantly all competition and any opposition.

Such then makes it, and the IT Services and Media Moguls which/who wields it, a fabulous weapon of mass enlightenment.

The Old Orders System of Digital Operating Systems is Dead, Long Live the New Virtual Operating Systems in CHAOS for Global Operating Devices/Really SMART Applications ........ Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems for GOD/RSA.

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