On 25 February, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime published this report which is the first of its kind in analysis of darknet-enabled threats in the region. The report assesses the Darkweb from the viewpoints of users, criminals, and law enforcement with a particular focus on cybercrime targeting countries in SE Asia. It says that Darknet criminal marketplaces have become more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. English tends to be the predominant working-language on darknets, but content in SE Asian languages has recently varied, indicating a diversified client base and possible attempts to obfuscate the origins of criminal marketplaces. Drugs are still the most common category of illicit products available in darknet markets. The types of drugs most commonly available include methamphetamine, MDMA, amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, heroin, opioids, LSD, psychedelic mushrooms, ketamine, and prescription drugs particularly benzodiazepines. Precursor chemicals to produce synthetic and semi-synthetic drugs are also traded on darknet sites catering to the region. The report also offers insights into other categories such cybercrime-as-a-service (CaaS), wildlife trade, and online child sexual exploitation materials.
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