E-Crime operations look increasingly like legitimate business practises, said the Symantec Underground Economy Report published today.
Cyber criminals are adopting increasingly professional business models, such as conventional outsourcing models and advertising strategies. Job roles are also clearly defined.
The underground operations were found to be recruiting job roles such as Trojan creators, web exploiters, data collectors, and sales and distribution operators.
Sellers were also found to be using the technology and anonymity of the online communities to advertise their goods through online forums.
Advertisers use common advertising techniques such as multi-coloured text to highlight their goods and services over those of competitors.
More than £176m worth of goods were found on offer, including credit card data, bank account details, email accounts, and pirated desktop games.
Cyber criminal groups are forming a self sustaining marketplace, withdrawing millions of pounds from the traditional economy, the report said.
Profits are re-invested in hiring developers for other scams or to buy new phishing toolkits.
As long as individuals and organisations are not careful with their security, they will be targeted by criminals because of the considerable sum of money to be made, the report said.