Black Market Threat Intelligence


    Havocscope provides security threat intelligence and business risk assessments of the global black market.The pages listed below provides key security threat data.


  1. Market Risk RankingCountry Risk Ranking
  2. Prices From the Black MarketProfits from Illegal Business
  3. Reported DataMarket Value

  4. Intelligence and information is categorized through the following sections. Each section provides the latest risk assessments and threat intelligence of criminal black markets.


  5. Business RiskEnvironmental Threats
  6. Substance AbuseTransnational Crime


SECURITY THREAT INTELLIGENCE OF THE BLACK MARKET


The global black market has the ability to create financial losses for corporations and governments worldwide. Threat intelligence of the illegal trade is provided to help mitigate this risk. Reports and assessments has been collected from various sources such as government agencies, academic reports, media publications and reported data from our readers.



A hitman for the Italian Mafia told explained to police how much he was paid for committing a murder on behalf of organized crime.

According to press reports, the man told police he would charge $3,700 to kneecap a person.

In two of the murders that he confessed to, the hitman stated that he was paid nearly $20,000 to deal a cocaine dealer, and $27,000 for killing a loan shark.

(See more prices of murders committed by contract hitmen.)

Source:  David Harding, “Mafia hitman in Italy tells investigators how much he charged for different jobs, including more than $20K for murder,” New York Daily News, March 7, 2015.

Statistics released by the United Nation’s’ Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) showed that 1,215 rhinos were killed in South Africa in 2014.

The number of rhinos killed for their rhino horn was a record high.

1,004 rhinos were poached and killed in South Africa in 2013.

668 were killed in 2012.

341 were killed in 2011.

333 were killed in 2010.

122 were killed in 2009.

The rise in poaching of rhinos is due to the high price of rhino horn on the black market. A kilogram of rhino horn is sold for up to $65,000.

(Additional prices of exotic animals and endangered species.)

Source:  Live Science, “Amid Record-Breaking Poaching, Wildlife Experts Seek to Smash a Black Market,” Yahoo News, March 5, 2015.

 

According to a report by the International Narcotics Control Board, over 1,000 tonnes of marijuana is seized by United States security agents along the US / Mexico border each year.

The marijuana seized by US customs represented 94 percent of all marijuana seized around the world in 2013.

Back in 2010, law enforcement officials estimated that the US black market in marijuana was worth $41 Billion.

(See the price to buy a gram of marijuana around the world.)

Source:  AFP, “Mexico’s drug cartels adapt to US pot legalization,” Yahoo News, March 7, 2015.

The owner and operator of an illegal gambling website in South Korea hired two cyber security experts to attack a competing gambling site.

South Korea’s National Police Agency stated that the owner of the illegal gambling site paid two men $911,000 (1 Billion South Korean Won) to attack the competitor. The cyber attack consisted of hacking into 12,000 computers located at six different banks. Once in control of those computers, the man directed them to commence a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack on to the gambling website.

(Price to rent a botnet to DDOS a website.)

One of the men was the owner of his own security company, and the other man was his employee. The man told police that he accepted the illegal job due to his lack of income. The man was previously a computer science professor in South Korea.

Intelligence officials believe that there are over tens of thousands of players in South Korea who bets at illegal gambling websites.

Source:  Jung Min-ho, “Cyber security experts arrested for hacking gambling site,” Korea Times, March 3, 2015.

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Economics and tax officials in Puerto Rico estimate that the territory fails to collected an estimate $800 Million in tax revenue from due to unreported income each year.

The island currently has a 7 percent sales tax that residents avoid through the use of cash transactions.

According to data from the US Treasury, over 80 percent of self-employed people in Puerto Rico claim on taxes that they earn less than

$15,000 per year. 69 percent of sole business proprietors report earnings that are below $11,000 a year.

37 percent of corporations report losses.

In total, financial intelligence officials estimate that the underground economy (excluding drug trafficking and criminal activities) in Puerto Rico is worth $16 Billion.

(Key statistics about money laundering.)

Source:  Associated Press, “Puerto Rico fights tax evasion as it seeks new revenue sources,” Star Tribune, March 8, 2015.

According to previous estimates by security agencies and the financial industry, between $1.5 Trillion to $2.5 Trillion is laundered around the world each year.

In order to combat terrorist financing, drug trafficking profits and tax evasion, countries have implements various financial regulations and created inter-governmental bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force. In order to comply with the anti-laundering regulations, financial firms and banks in the United States spend an estimated $7 Billion per year in compliance measures.

The results from these measures leads to a 0.2 percent seizure rate of laundered money in the United States.

One reason given for the difficulty of seizing illicit funds is due to the small amounts needed to create terrorism. According to Bloomberg, the September 11 attacks cost less than $500,000 to plan and implement. The Al-Qaeda attacks in Madrid and London cost $100,000 to carry out.

(See more money laundering statistics.)

Source:  Charles Kenny, “Why the World Is So Bad at Tracking Dirty Money,” Bloomberg Business, February 23, 2015.

At the start of 2015, media reports place the average ransomware demand to be $500.

This figure is based upon several public sources.

The first source is based upon a writer in the New York Times who stated that her mother was a victim of ransomware. The authors mother had her computer locked up based on CryptoWall. After encrypting the computer, the malware demanded $500 to be paid by Bitcoins release the hold. If the amount wasn’t paid by the end of the week, then the demand would increase to $1,000.

The second source is from a report by The Economist. In its article, the magazine reports that the average ransom has fallen from $800 several years ago. It uses examples of extortion victims who paid $644 (€510) in Italy, and a sheriffs office in Tennessee that paid $572 to recover thousands of files that were encrypted. The Economist also states that between August and December 2014, around 16,000 people paid $7 Million (8 Million Australian Dollars) after their computers were encrypted with ransomware.

The owner of the Bitcoin wallet that received the ransom in Italy received up to $109,400 worth of bitcoins in following 8 days after the ransomware was discovered.

Source:  Alina Simone, “How My Mom Got Hacked,” New York Times, January 2, 2015.

Source:  “Your money or your data,” Economist, January 15, 2015.

According to statistics from the Office of the Narcotics Control Board and the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, there are 1.3 million people in Thailand who are addicted to drugs. This translates to roughly 2 percent of Thailand’s population.

Out of the 1.3 million drug addicts in the country, 250,000 have been prosecuted at one time and have been sent to prison. Military officials stated taht in some years, between 60 to 70 percent of soldiers signing up for the Thai Military have a history of drug addiction.

During the 2013-2014 fiscal year, public health officials stated that 359,399 drug addicts in Thailand underwent rehabilitation programs.

Source:  King-oua Laohong, “Thailand ‘now a drugs hub’ ,” Bangkok Post, December 19, 2014.

An investigation by the New York Times found that Al Queada and its affiliates have taken at least $125 million in revenue from kidnapping for ransom since 2008. Roughly half, or $66 Million, was paid out in 2013.

The United States Treasury put the total at $165 million for the same period.

Since 2008, the following countries have paid Al Qaeda the following amounts (given in 2014 US dollars) for releasing kidnapped citizens:

  • France: $58.1 Million
  • Qatar and Oman: $20.4 Million
  • Switzerland: $12.4 Million
  • Spain: $11 Million
  • Austria: $3.2 Million
  • Undetermined Countries: $21.4 Million

Analysis conducted by the NY Times found that 15 percent of hostages that have been taken by Al Qaeda between 2008 and 2014 were executed or died in captivity.

Source: Rukmini Callimachi, “Paying Ransoms, Europe Bankrolls Qaeda Terror,” New York Times, July 29, 2014

According to a report by the United Nations, an estimated $6.6 Million was made in 2010 by human smugglers bringing in illegal migrants to the United States.

The revenue was generated by migrants paying anywhere between $150 to $100,000. The fees charged by the smugglers was dependent on the immigrants country of origin. Charges covered everything needed for the journey, such as hotel stays, bribes and taxes paid to the drug cartels.

The United States Border Control apprehended 57,000 unaccompanied minors trying to illegaly enter the United States between October 2013 and June 2014.

(More human smuggling statistics.)

Source: Associated Press, “Migration Spotlights Mexican ‘Coyote’ Smugglers,” ABC News, July 21, 2014