Past experiences with case study papers submitted to the APWG Symposium on Electronic Crime Research (APWG eCrime) and research venues with common topical research foci have provided insight into common mistakes made by industry researchers trying to publish in more formalized forums. The content presented here is aimed at sharing some of these observed common missteps and provide guidance to potential submitters on ways to strengthen their research and increase the chances of the paper’s acceptance.
The APWG’s URL Block List (UBL) began life as a redundant secure FTP service (the ancient and venerable APWG PhishFeed), inspired by industry demand in late 2003 for a clearance mechanism for phishing report exchange and routing. As the user base matured, demand increased for more flexible interface schemes, spurring APWG Engineering to develop a number of interactive services for the UBL under HTTPS on the APWG eCrime Exchange.
We investigate opportunities and limitations of anti-money laundering (AML) in Bitcoin, a decentralized cryptographic currency proliferating on the Internet. We analyze several services offering increased transaction anonymization that have emerged in the Bitcoin ecosystem -- Bitcoin Fog, BitLaundry, and the Send Shared functionality of Blockchain.info. In a series of experiments, we use reverse-engineering methods to understand the mode of operation and try to trace anonymized transactions back to our probe accounts. While Bitcoin Fog and Blockchain.info successfully anonymize our transactions, we can link the input and output transactions of BitLaundry.