A backstabbing crime boss and thousands of people looking for free tutorials on hacking and identity theft were two of the more interesting findings of a study examining user activity on two online “carding forums,” illegal sites that specialize in stolen credit card information.

Alex Kigerl.

“The cybercrime marketplace, like most e-commerce, has continued to expand and carding forums are the most widespread formats in the West for exchanging illicit goods,” said Alex Kigerl, a Washington State University criminologist and lead author of the study published in the June edition of Social Science Computer Review.

Kigerl also discovered that the administrator of the two carding forums, the person who is typically in charge of vouching for reputable sellers and banning users who defraud other users, was perhaps the biggest thief of all.

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