An engineer and a criminologist are teaming up in a research project that aims to get a better idea of how cybercriminals operate and how to best thwart their mendacious activities. Michel Cukier, associate professor of reliability engineering, and David Maimon, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice, both at …
"The study shows that the human aspect needs to be included in security studies,"
Where's Homer Simpson when you need him?
The problem with this plan, is it's a matter of opinion of who the criminals are. Who the Black Hats. Who is the criminal, is it Robin Hood or the Sheriff of Nottingham?
There are just as many experts on all sides, and each side views the other as criminals.
Happily, most countries have this thing called 'law' which is generally used to identify who is a criminal. It includes, amongst other things, the notion of not taking the law into one's own hands.
You can claim all the virtuous reasons in the world, but theft, fraud, blackmail and vandalism are still crimes. If you feel otherwise, you are welcome to emigrate to Somalia or Afghanistan, for example. In the rest of the world, you are expected to follow the rules or pay the price.
I wonder how much funding they get to do this. My mum used to do reports on shit and got loads of money to do it. Generally she drank wine for a month then on the last day sobered up enough to write a load of bollocks which then went on record as some kind of "study material".
On the other hand, I bought some candy floss the other day. £2.50 for a teaspoon of sugar.
Neither an engineer, nor a criminologist. Just two academics.
Is a criminologist not. of necessity, an academic?
Follow the money
The key to clobbering criminal activities is to follow the money. Criminals almost always commit crimes to get money, and on the web this all comes down to persuading the mark to give money in return for goods, services or access to something desirable. Money cannot change hands as cash, so a third party needs to be involved to process the payment.
Most banks and banking intermediaries are very heavily policed; there has been research done by the Americans that demonstrates that whilst there are zillions of spammers, fraudsters and similar rogues out there, there are not very many payment systems that will tolerate crooks using them. All you have to do to clobber the crooks is to stamp out the dodgy payment systems one by one, and/or blacklist the ones you can't kill as purveyors of malware.