Buying drugs on a Darknet market: A better deal? Studying the online illicit drug market through the analysis of digital, physical and chemical data.

Détails

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Etat: Serval
Version: Final published version
ID Serval
serval:BIB_670B021B4620
Type
Article: article d'un périodique ou d'un magazine.
Collection
Publications
Titre
Buying drugs on a Darknet market: A better deal? Studying the online illicit drug market through the analysis of digital, physical and chemical data.
Périodique
Forensic science international
Auteur(s)
Rhumorbarbe D., Staehli L., Broséus J., Rossy Q., Esseiva P.
ISSN
1872-6283 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
0379-0738
Statut éditorial
Publié
Date de publication
10/2016
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
267
Pages
173-182
Langue
anglais
Notes
Publication types: Journal Article
Publication Status: ppublish
Résumé
Darknet markets, also known as cryptomarkets, are websites located on the Darknet and designed to allow the trafficking of illicit products, mainly drugs. This study aims at presenting the added value of combining digital, chemical and physical information to reconstruct sellers' activities. In particular, this research focuses on Evolution, one of the most popular cryptomarkets active from January 2014 to March 2015. Evolution source code files were analysed using Python scripts based on regular expressions to extract information about listings (i.e., sales proposals) and sellers. The results revealed more than 48,000 listings and around 2700 vendors claiming to send illicit drug products from 70 countries. The most frequent categories of illicit drugs offered by vendors were cannabis-related products (around 25%) followed by ecstasy (MDA, MDMA) and stimulants (cocaine, speed). The cryptomarket was then especially studied from a Swiss point of view. Illicit drugs were purchased from three sellers located in Switzerland. The purchases were carried out to confront digital information (e.g., the type of drug, the purity, the shipping country and the concealment methods mentioned on listings) with the physical analysis of the shipment packaging and the chemical analysis of the received product (purity, cutting agents, chemical profile based on minor and major alkaloids, chemical class). The results show that digital information, such as concealment methods and shipping country, seems accurate. But the illicit drugs purity is found to be different from the information indicated on their respective listings. Moreover, chemical profiling highlighted links between cocaine sold online and specimens seized in Western Switzerland. This study highlights that (1) the forensic analysis of the received products allows the evaluation of the accuracy of digital data collected on the website, and (2) the information from digital and physical/chemical traces are complementary to evaluate the practices of the online selling of illicit drugs on cryptomarkets.

Mots-clé
Cryptomarket, cocaine, drug profiling, evolution market, concealment techniques, source codes, Cocaine, Concealment techniques, Drug profiling, Evolution market, Source codes
Pubmed
Web of science
Création de la notice
31/08/2016 19:39
Dernière modification de la notice
03/03/2018 17:54
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