Using the Event Analysis of Systemic Teamwork (EAST) broken-links approach to understand vulnerabilities to disruption in a darknet market

Ben R. Lane, Paul M. Salmon, Adrian Cherney, David Lacey, Neville A. Stanton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Darknet markets provide an anonymous, online platform for users to trade illicit drugs, fraudulent identity data, and other commodities. Although law enforcement agencies have been successful in seising many markets, the Darknet is an agile and dynamic environment and market activities often persist and emerge in a new form. Given this constantly changing environment, new ways of disrupting darknet markets are required. This study used Event Analysis of Systemic Teamwork (EAST) to analyse market activity and understand vulnerabilities to disruption. This involved using the EAST broken-links approach to assess the effects of compromising the transmission of information between tasks and between agents. The analysis identified critical vulnerabilities in the system, which included information involved in registering, depositing funds, communicating listing details to buyers, and communicating dispute resolution messages. This study indicates that systems ergonomics methods—in particular, EAST—can provide insight into system vulnerabilities that might be targeted for disruption. Practitioner summary This study provides a conceptualisation of the processes, people, structures, and information involved in the buying and selling of goods on a darknet market. Law enforcement agencies may use broken-links analyses to systematically consider the effects of their interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1134-1149
Number of pages16
JournalErgonomics
Volume62
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

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