The Social Organization of Actors in Stolen Data Markets

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Cybercrime and Cybersecurity book series (PSCYBER)


This chapter discusses social organization frameworks, and applies Best and Luckenbill’s framework model to the study of stolen data market participants. The framework recognizes five different types of social organizations (loners, colleagues, peers, teams, and formal organizations) based on characteristics such as mutual association, mutual participation, elaborate division of labor, and extended organization. Based on these characteristics of organizational complexity, stolen data forums operate concurrently at different levels of complexity. While some forums have longer duration of operations, others provide evidence for the sophisticated division of labor via specialized roles for members. Hence, the differentiation depends on the nature of the transaction more than on the nature of the forum.


Social organization Colleagues Formal organization Trust Escrow 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.East Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA
  3. 3.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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