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World’s first ‘cybercrime index’ reveals where cyber criminals most active | National | #cybercrime | #infosec








(Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya via Pexels)


By James Gamble via SWNS

The world’s first cybercrime index ranking the globe’s key hotspots has been compiled – with Russia, Ukraine and the United States topping the list.

The “World Cybercrime Index,” which ranks where cyber criminals are most active puts the US in fourth place and the UK in eighth after Nigeria and Romania.

The new index shows that a relatively small number of countries house the greatest cybercriminal threats.

The creators of the index hope it can be used as a reference for the public and private sectors to better focus their resources on the nations housing the main perpetrators of cybercrime.

On what the cybercrime index hopes to achieve, co-author Dr. Miranda Bruce, from the University of Oxford, explained: “The research that underpins the Index will help remove the veil of anonymity around cybercriminal offenders, and we hope that it will aid the fight against the growing threat of profit-driven cybercrime.

“We now have a deeper understanding of the geography of cybercrime, and how different countries specialize in different types of cybercrime.

“By continuing to collect this data, we’ll be able to monitor the emergence of any new hotspots and it is possible early interventions could be made in at-risk countries before a serious cybercrime problem even develops.”







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(Photo by Pixabay via Pexels)




The index, published in the journal PLOS One, was compiled thanks to a survey of 92 of the world’s leading cybercrime experts involved in cybercrime intelligence gathering and investigations.

It asked the experts to consider the five major categories of cybercrime: Technical products and services such as malware coding, botnet access and access to compromised systems; attacks and extortion including ransomware and denial-of-service attacks; data and identity theft comprising hacking, phishing and credit card or account compromises; scams and money laundering.

The experts then nominated countries they consider to be the most significant sources of each of these types of cybercrime and ranked them according to the impact, professionalism, and technical skill of their cybercriminals.

Associate Professor Dr. Jonathan Lusthaus, another co-author from the University of Oxford’s Department of Sociology and the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, explained how cybercrime has been a largely invisible phenomenon as offenders often mask their physical locations by hiding behind fake profiles and technical protections.







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(Photo by Sora Shimazaki via Pexels)




“Due to the illicit and anonymous nature of their activities, cybercriminals cannot be easily accessed or reliably surveyed,” Dr. Lusthaus said.

“They are actively hiding. If you try to use technical data to map their location, you will also fail, as cybercriminals bounce their attacks around internet infrastructure across the world.

“The best means we have to draw a picture of where these offenders are actually located is to survey those whose job it is to track these people.”

Professor Federico Varese from Sciences Po in France added that the World Cybercrime Index is the first step in a broader aim to understand the local dimensions of cybercrime production across the world.

“We are hoping to expand the study so that we can determine whether national characteristics like educational attainment, internet penetration, GDP or levels of corruption are associated with cybercrime,” Professor Varese said.

“Many people think cybercrime is global and fluid, but this study supports the view that, much like forms of organized crime, it is embedded within particular contexts.”



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