Underground Economy

Studying the Underground Economy

During the last few years, cybercrime has become profitable. Criminals compromise thousands of machines that become parts of botnets, that can be used to carry out malicious activities such as sending spam, executing denial of service attacks, or stealing personal information. These malicious activities gave birth to a rich underground economy, which involves many parts, such as botmasters, spammers, shady ISPs and banks, and so on. This project aims to get a better understanding of the underground economy behing cybercrime operations. The goal is to develop novel techniques to fight these threats.


2013 (2 publications)

Follow the Green: Growth and Dynamics in Twitter Follower Markets G. Stringhini, G. Wang, M. Egele, C. Kruegel, G. Vigna, H. Zheng, B. Y. Zhao Proceedings of the ACM Internet Measurement Conference (ICM 2013) BibTeX PDF (1.0 MB)

Two Years of Short URLs Internet Measurement: Security Threats and Countermeasures F. Maggi, G. Stringhini, B. Stone-Gross, C. Kruegel, G. Vigna, S. Zanero Proceedings of the International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2013) BibTeX PDF (856.7 KB)

2012 (1 publication)

Poultry Markets: On the Underground Economy of Twitter Followers G. Stringhini, M. Egele, C. Kruegel, G. Vigna Proceedings of the Workshop on Online Social Networks (WOSN 2012) BibTeX PDF (767.5 KB)

2011 (1 publication)

The Underground Economy of Spam: A Botmaster's Perspective of Coordinating Large-Scale Spam Campaigns B. Stone-Gross, T. Holz, G. Stringhini, G. Vigna Proceedings of the Usenix Workshop on Large-Scale Exploits and Emergent Threats (LEET 2011) BibTeX PDF (1.2 MB)

2009 (1 publication)

Your Botnet is My Botnet: Analysis of a Botnet Takeover B. Stone-Gross, M. Cova, B. Gilbert, L. Cavallaro, C. Kruegel, M. Szydlowski, G. Vigna, R. Kemmerer Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS 2009) BibTeX PDF (921.8 KB)

2008 (1 publication)

There is No Free Phish: An Analysis of "Free" and Live Phishing Kits M. Cova, C. Kruegel, G. Vigna Proceedings of the USENIX Workshop on Offensive Technologies (WOOT 2008) BibTeX PDF (134.1 KB)

Research topics

People involved


Post-doctoral Researchers

PhD Students

Last update
Sept. 24, 2013, 7:05 p.m.