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Using Computer Simulation to Understand, Prevent, and Explain Cybercrime

NCJ Number
David M. Nichol, Ph.D.
Date Published
0 pages
This videotape contains a presentation regarding the use of computer simulations to understand, prevent, and explain cybercrime.
This 1-hour videotape, part of the National Institute of Justice's Perspective on Crime and Justice Lecture Series, contains a presentation by Dr. David M. Nicol, professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College, discussing the use of computer simulations in understanding, preventing, and explain cybercrime. Dr. Nicol begins his presentation with a discussion of what computer simulation is and how it can be used in different ways, especially by the criminal justice system. He follows with a discussion of how computers are used in "old-fashioned" crimes such as fraud, market manipulation, and child pornography, and then how they are used in newer computer crimes, such as cyber-vandalism, manipulation of electronic communications, data theft and denial of service, and violation of digital copyrights. Dr. Nicol notes that computers and computer simulations can be used for detection of computer tampering, data discovery, and discovering traces regarding a computer's access activity. Dr. Nicol presents an overview of a computer system simulation and how it can be used to assist in criminal investigations. A computer system simulation is a model of a real system with stated variables that is able to describe a snapshot of the real system and explain the relationship between the variables. Computer system simulations can be useful in criminal justice investigations because they can be used to explain complex things and situations to individuals with a non-technical background. Dr. Nicol gives an example of how a computer simulation would be used in a criminal investigation. A question and answer session followed Dr. Nicol's presentation.