Cyber criminals gather together, researchers find

26 Apr 2024

A groundbreaking international research effort has challenged the common perception of cybercrime as a nebulous, borderless phenomenon. The study, conducted by a collaborative team from Australia, the UK, and France, has identified six primary hotspots that serve as hubs for malicious cyber activities: Russia, Ukraine, China, the USA, Nigeria, and Romania. Surprisingly, Australia, often seen as a technologically advanced nation, ranked 34th on this list.

Dubbed the World Cybercrime Index, this initiative aims to provide law enforcement agencies and the private sector with targeted insights to combat cyber threats more effectively. Dr. Miranda Bruce from UNSW Canberra emphasized the significance of this research in shedding light on the geographical concentrations of cybercriminal activities. By focusing efforts on these key hubs, authorities hope to dismantle cybercrime networks and mitigate their impact.

Professor Federico Varese from France’s Sciences Po likened cybercrime to other organized criminal activities, stressing the importance of understanding its contextual nuances. The study, which involved interviews with 92 experts specializing in cybercrime intelligence, relied on their insights to assess countries based on the professionalism, technical prowess, and impact of their cybercriminals.

Jonathan Lusthaus, an associate professor at Oxford University, highlighted the challenge of tracking cyber offenders who actively conceal their identities. To overcome this, researchers leveraged the expertise of those actively involved in tracking cybercriminals to map their geographic distribution accurately.

Looking ahead, the researchers aim to refine their index further, incorporating additional data points to correlate cybercrime hotspots with national characteristics such as educational attainment, internet penetration, GDP, and levels of corruption. This holistic approach could provide valuable insights into the socio-economic factors that contribute to the proliferation of cybercrime.

Dr. Bruce emphasized the importance of ongoing data collection to monitor the emergence of new hotspots and enable early interventions in at-risk countries. By proactively addressing cybercrime threats, policymakers and industry stakeholders can work together to safeguard digital ecosystems and protect individuals and businesses from cyber threats.


Read the full article at ITnews