The Rise of Physical Crime in the Cybercrime Underground

While underground forums have long been the purview of digital or internet-enabled crimes, recent developments have shown signs of increasing synergy and interaction between traditional criminals and cybercrime actors.

Given the nature of the underground, it shouldn’t be a surprise that even traditional criminals communicate and even sell their wares via these underground forums. Is it an evolution of cybercrime or just a case of birds of a feather sticking together? Let’s take a closer look.

A popular offering: vehicle modifications

While monitoring the cybercrime underground, we observed a number of advertisements peddling vehicle toolkits to potential customers. These kits allow users to bypass (physical) security mechanisms put in place by car vendors, allowing a user to perform administrative tasks such as updating and reprogramming the Engine Control Module (ECM), which makes engine decisions based on sensor information and performance.

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Source: Trend Micro