Dan Geer's comment about the street price of heroin as a metric for success has me thinking - are people tracking the street prices of digital underground goods over time? The Symantec Threat Reports do seem to report advertised prices for a basket of goods, starting in Volume XI (March 2007) and running through the present. For example, Volume XI Table 3 states a Skype account is worth $12, valid Hotmail cookie $3, etc. These are interesting, but it's hard to see changes since they're reported as a band of prices presumably aggregated from many different sources.

I've also seen price anecdotes from Team Cymru. Plus of course the "Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Internet Miscreants" paper from CCS 2007. Is there a continuous feed of prices published anywhere (besides the underground servers, of course), or is this still something where you have to go gather data yourself if you want it?

I'm curious because it would be interesting to look at the "street price" for a specific online bank's logins before and after the bank makes a change to its security practices. (One not particularly great example of a change: adopting EV certs.) Alternatively, look at the price of some good before and after a prosecution. If this has already been done, my apologies, I'd appreciate the pointer.

finally, does anyone happen to know of a good review of how the focus on street price has performed as a metric for drug interdiction? that is, I could imagine cases where some specific intervention causes street price to rise but this doesn't lead to a corresponding improvement in things like deaths from drug overdose, number of people using, etc. Does that happen in practice so far as we know or not?

-David Molnar

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