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Cybercrimes Against Critical Infrastructures: A Study of Online Criminal Organization and Techniques

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Studies Volume: 22 Issue: 3 Dated: September 2009 Pages: 261-271
Aunshul Rege-Patwardhan
Date Published
September 2009
11 pages
This study examined cyberattacks against critical infrastructures to create an initial typology of cybercriminals and their crimes.
Findings showed that an assortment of criminal techniques was employed by different cybercriminals to commit cyberattacks. Certain techniques require greater expertise than others; creating malware, manipulating software, and assembling botnet armies require high levels of technical knowledge. Cybercriminals using toolkits did not require the technological know-how to commit crimes; the lack of technical knowledge did not imply attack failure. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) change the face of crime allowing cybercriminals to use technology to commit deviant acts by offering anonymity, increased flexibility, better efficiency, and speed, which cybercriminals use to organize themselves and their acts. The characteristics of cyberspace that facilitate crime can be accounted for by the acronym SCAREM (Stealth, Challenge, Anonymity, Reconnaissance, Escape, and Multiplicity). Cybercriminals are invisible and anonymous in cyberspace, difficult to detect, highly motivated and rationally choose their targets, and can easily replicate their crimes. The taxonomy of cybercriminals and their crimes created in this study is rudimentary and can serve as a foundation for future research. Table, glossary, and references