Investigating slander and sybil attacks in cybercrime marketplaces using online experiments

Cybercrime markets are markets of asymmetric information, characterised by quality uncertainty and identity uncertainty. We investigate the effect of two market-based interventions designed to disrupt – rather than “fix” – these markets. In slander attacks, law enforcement officers leave fake reviews for sellers. In sybil attacks, law enforcement officers masquerade as cyber-criminals and default on purchases. We run a series of online experiments using 392 participants recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk.

About the speaker:

Rebecca Heath is a PhD candidate and College Teaching Associate in Economics at St John’s College, Cambridge. She is part of the Microeconomic Theory Research Group, undertaking research involving the mathematical analysis and modelling of online behaviour on social networks. He current work investigates interventions in cybercrime markets.

Rebecca was awarded the three-year Møller PhD Scholarship and the Vice-Chancellor’s Award, which is given to the 250 highest-ranked students across the University. In October 2022, Rebecca was awarded the Jim Perkins PhD Scholarship, and will spend six months at the University of Melbourne in Australia, commencing in April 2023.