Hugh Pickens writes "Computer Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University are developing techniques to analyze and disrupt black markets on the internet, where criminals sell viruses, stolen data, and attack services estimated to total more than $37 million for the seven-month period they studied. To stem the flow of stolen credit cards and identity data, researchers have proposed two technical approaches to reducing the number of successful market transactions. One approach to disrupting the network is a slander attack where an attacker eliminates the verified status of a buyer or seller through false defamation. Another approach undercuts the cyber-crooks' network by creating a deceptive sales environment. 'Just like you need to verify that individuals are honest on E-bay, online criminals need to verify that they are dealing with "honest" criminals,' says Jason Franklin, one of the researchers."