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Cyber security experts at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are working with the police to fight the increasing threat of cyber crime.
Officers from across the East Midlands came to DMU to learn more about digital forensics and the latest research being carried out to profile those who commit cyber crime.
DMU’s Psychology and Technology Research Group and the Cyber Security Centre work to understand both how victims view cyber crime as well as the psychology and techniques used by the cyber criminals.
Cyber crime is a growing issue. In 2014, more than half of 2,075 Britons who took part in a UK Government survey had been victims of cyber crime. A separate poll showed that for the UK as a whole, more than £670m was lost in online fraud in the 12 months to August 2014.
Recent cases in Leicestershire have included a man jailed for eight months for a cyber attack on a Leicester business. He cancelled online orders and hacked into the website in the attack which cost the company £41,000.
“The cyber environment is used to commit and facilitate all types of crimes and even people committing more traditional crimes like burglary will still leave a ‘digital footprint’”, explained DMU psychologist Dr Lee Hadlington.
“The challenges facing the police in the arena of cyber crime highlight the need to strike a balance between understanding the nature of digital forensics alongside the motivations, techniques and psychology of the attackers.
“In a similar vein, a better understanding of how victims view aspects of cybercrime allows front line staff to determine how best to direct investigations whilst placing victim support high up on the agenda.”
The event at DMU included workshops for officers and staff, plus a keynote speech from Andy Jones, Visiting Professor to DMU’s Cyber Security Centre, about the challenges which cyber crime presents to police.
Helge Janicke, Head of the Cyber Security Centre, said: “The combination of understanding the human element in cyber crime alongside cutting-edge approaches in digital forensics aims to help police tackle these challenges head on.”
Among those taking part in the event were officers and staff from Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derby and Lincoln which included assistant chief constables, PCs and support staff.
Detective Sergeant Phil Donnelly from the Cyber Crime Unit at the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) said: “The threat from cyber-crime is a rapidly growing problem for policing at a local and national level. It is imperative that police officers and staff at all levels have confidence and take the right steps when tackling cyber crime.”
Peter Ward, head of East Midlands Police Learning and Development, said: “Under the East Midlands Policing Academic Collaboration (EMPAC) it’s great to see DMU and police managers from across the East Midlands Police Services coming together to gain a greater understanding of the threat that cyber crime treat poses to businesses and individuals.
“The Police Service is working closely with academia to ensure that evidence-based strategies are implemented to combat and reduce crime.”