Combating Cybercriminality by Understanding Human and Technical Drivers

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combatting cyber criminality


Dr David Wright | Founder & Chief Research Officer
Krzysztof Garstka | Senior Research Analyst
Richa Kumar | Senior Research Analyst

Date: 2 June 2020

Trilateral Research joins twelve partners from across the EU in the newly launched three-year Horizon 2020 project CC-DRIVER to examine the drivers behind cybercriminality in the EU with a special focus on the factors that lead young people to cybercrime.

“Booming cybercriminality is causing enormous economic and social costs in our societies across the globe. We need a collective effort to efficiently combat and investigate new trends in cybercrime including the rise of amateur hackers. Our project, CC-DRIVER, aims to understand better this complex phenomenon. The CC-DRIVER project will review the multifaceted manifestations of cybercrime and analyse the human and technical drivers of new forms of cybercriminality. We will also analyse the techniques and tactics of cyber criminals and cybercrime-as-a-service,” says David Wright, Director of Trilateral Research and Co-ordinator of the CC-DRIVER project.

The project was formally launched at a virtual kick-off meeting on 6-7 May 2020, which was attended by more than 30 representatives from partner organisations, including law enforcement agencies (LEAs), research centres, universities, industry and civil society from across Europe as well as a representative from the European Commission. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the contributions of the different partners in relation to their areas of specialism and review the objectives and structure of the project, including ethics, privacy and data protection issues and to understand more precisely the expectations of the Commission.

CC-DRIVER will focus on these key aspects:

  1. Study cybercrime-as-a-service and develop cybercrime investigation tools for LEAs
  2. Understand drivers of new forms of cybercriminality
  3. Create an online questionnaire to assess the vulnerability of young people to cybercrime
  4. Support the harmonisation of cybercrime legislation across EU states by developing policy toolkits
  5. Maintain European societal values and fundamental rights.

Consortium partners will explore the drivers of cyber juvenile delinquency by, amongst other means, conducting an online survey of 1,000 young people between the ages of 16-19 in each of eight European countries. All responses will be anonymised in line with data protection laws. The partners will also conduct interviews with adult cyber criminals and develop intervention programmes in an attempt to divert youth from cybercrime into more socially beneficial contributions.

Cybercriminality is a key challenge for law enforcement agencies and policy-makers due to the complexity of the phenomenon and the various technical and human factors involved. A principal outcome of the project, therefore, will be the development of tools and training materials for LEAs to facilitate following the threat landscape, collecting evidence and disrupting criminal operations. Cybercrime awareness tools will provide up-to-date intelligence on trends and tactics in cybersecurity, while investigation tools will improve analysis automation, data mining and system scanning capabilities.

The project proposal and its innovative approach received support from Europol, INTERPOL, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The CC-DRIVER partners will also make a comparative analysis of cybersecurity legislation in the same eight countries, conduct a gap analysis and recommend good practices to support policymaking.

Consortium partners will use different research methods and engage various Internet end-users including vulnerable individuals and groups; therefore, ethics is an integral part of the project. Strict adherence to the European Council ethical and legal requirements will be supported by an Ethics Board with invited external experts. Trilateral Research will also develop an ethics and data protection protocol for the partners to address ethical questions potentially raised by the project. An ethical, data protection and social impact assessment of the cybersecurity ecosystem will contribute to building public trust for the use of technology in crime-fighting efforts.

Meet the team

The project is coordinated by David Wright, Trilateral Research (UK). Other consortium partners include F-Secure (Finland), FORTH (Greece), Simavi (Romania), the Valencia Local Police (Spain), Policia Judiciária (Portugal), the School of Criminal Science at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland), KEMEA (Greece), the Department of Policing at the University of Applied Sciences for Public Service in Bavaria (Germany), the University of East London (UK), the Information Security Forum (UK), PrivaNova (France) and the Hellenic Police (Greece).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 883543.

For more information please contact our team.

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