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Researchers Expose the Human Side of Cybercrime

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A representation of a cybercriminal.

A study of criminal behavior online is taking into consideration the online routines of victims.

Credit: TechGurus

University of Maryland professors Michel Cukier and David Maimon are collaborating to study the behavior of both hackers and victims to address basic issues about criminal behavior.

Their research focuses on how end users' susceptibility to cybercrime incidents is shaped by their online routines, and integrates precepts of criminological, sociological, and engineering techniques.

Their research has three areas of concentration: Understanding hacker response to situational stimuli in the besieged computer system; learning about users’ online routines that make them vulnerable to cyberthreats; and devising practical instruments to help guide information technology managers improve their cybersecurity systems.

Cukier and Maimon have deployed several hundred honeypots, or computers that appear to be part of a network but are actually isolated systems designed to study and document hackers and their modus operandi.

"Our analysis demonstrates that computer-focused crimes are more frequent during times of day that computer users are using their networked computers to engage in their daily working and studying routines," Maimon reports.

He and Cukier also found a correlation between foreign network users and intrusion attempts. "Our study demonstrates that network users are clearly linked to observed network attacks, and that successful future security solutions need to account for the human element of cybercrime," Maimon says.

From University of Maryland
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Abstracts Copyright © 2013 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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