Categorising Cybercrime and Cybercriminals: The Problem and Potential Approaches

ABSTRACT

Cybercrime is now recognised as a major international problem, with continual increases in incidents of hacking, viruses, and other forms of abuse having been reported in recent years. However, although many people may recognise cybercrime-related terminology, agreeing and defining what they actually mean can prove to be somewhat difficult. As a result, alternative classifications have emerged from a range of authoritative sources, which are similar in some respects, but markedly different in others. This paper considers the difficulty associated with categorising cybercrime, and identifies that a harmonised nomenclature would be beneficial to individuals and organisations concerned with combating the problem, as well as to those concerned with reporting the issue to the general public.

The discussion presents a variety of different top-level classifications of cybercrime, each of which has been utilised in practice by authoritative sources in the field. The need for further sub classification is then illustrated by examining the specific issue of hacking, which reveals that numerous types and motivations can be identified, and that the simple, yet frequently used, label of ‘hacker’ is consequently inappropriate to convey any real impression of the activities in many cases.


AUTHORS

Network Research Group, University of Plymouth, UK;
Adjunct Associate Professor, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia

Prof. Steven Furnell is the head of the Network Research Group at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom, and an Adjunct Associate Professor with Edith Cowan University in Western Australia. He specialises in computer security and has been actively researching in the area for fourteen years, with current areas of interest including security management, computer crime, user authentication, and security usability.

Prof. Furnell is a Fellow and Branch Chair of the British Computer Society (BCS), a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a UK representative in International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) working groups relating to Information Security Management (of which he is the current chair), Network Security, and Information Security Education. He is the author of over 160 papers in refereed international journals and conference proceedings, as well as the books Cybercrime: Vandalizing the Information Society (2001) and Computer Insecurity: Risking the System (2005). Further details can be found at www.network-research-group.org.

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Keywords

C

C2
C2S
CDX
CIA
CIP
CPS

I

IA
ICS

S

SOA

X

XRY

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