On The Relationships Of Hackers
Conférence de l'European Society of Criminology, Vilnius, Lithuanie
No one could have predicted the sharp rise of the usage of internet since the mid-1990s. People are getting more and more connected to the World Wide Web through the use of laptop computers, smart phones, games consoles, tablets and even televisions. Very few people actually know how these interconnected webs of devices communicate with each other. Those that are in the know have fall into two categories: the black hats (those that see this as an incredible chance to take advantage of an unprecedented number of easy targets) and the white hats (the researchers studying the black hats). Researchers that study cybercrimes discovered early on that the black hats side could count on very clever and ingenious individuals who constantly pushed back the limits of technology. Using the anonymous nature of the Internet, they have concealed their criminal activity as well as their true identity as much as they could. Even though they faced a very hostile environment, white hat researchers have done the best they could to reveal the criminal behavior of these delinquents.
In this paper, we conducted a review of the available research on five types of cybercrimes: botnets, carding, warez, phishing and the production of malicious code. Our analysis shows that there are gaps and structural problems with the way knowledge has been accumulated over the last few years in the study of cybercrimes. Most of the research is focused either on the social or on the social side of the problem. Very few studies have managed to bridge the gap between the two aspects of the problems. Most of the studies also follow a very limited number of trends leaving big gaps in the current state of knowledge on cybercrimes and cybercriminals. We offer that a new paradigm is needed to study this phenomenon: the behavior systems in crime. First presented by Sutherland, this theory suggests that crimes should be divided in specific sociological units that should be studied separately. The results of the analysis of the criminal behavior in each of these units could then be compared in order to generate a deeper understanding of the underlying trends of the criminal behavior. Our paper thus suggests that researchers should adopt this theoretical framework to guide the design of their future research in the field of cybercrime.
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