You are here: Home Knowledge Base Polity Cybercrime, Cybersecurity and the Future of the Internet Solutions Establish an efficient online self-reporting system for cybercrime victims to enable widespread gathering and analysis of cybercrime statistics.
Symposium 2010

Solution for Cybercrime, Cybersecurity and the Future of the Internet

The Challenge

In the past decade, advances in communications technologies and the “informatization” of society have converged as never before in human history. This has given rise to the industrialization of ...

In the past decade, advances in communications technologies and the “informatization” of society have converged as never before in human history. This has given rise to the industrialization of a type of crime where the commodity—personal information—moves far too quickly for conventional law enforcement methods to keep pace.

Establish an efficient online self-reporting system for cybercrime victims to enable widespread gathering and analysis of cybercrime statistics.

There is now a sophisticated and self-sufficient digital underground economy in which data is the illicit commodity. Stolen personal and financial data—used, for example, to gain access to existing bank accounts and credit cards or to establish fraudulent new lines of credit—has a monetary value.

most recent estimate of global corporate losses alone stands at approximatelyThis drives a range of criminal activities, including phishing, pharming,malware distribution and the hacking of corporate databases, and  it is supported by a fully fledged infrastructure of malicious code writers, specialist website hosts and individuals able to lease networks of many thousands of compromised computers to carry out automated attacks. While the value of the cybercriminal economy as a whole is not yet known, the €750 billion per year.

Organized cybercriminals have realized that it is easier to steal $1 from a million people, than to steal $1 million from one person. But in many cases, the response from law enforcement agencies does not reflect the problem. One person complaining to the police about losing $100 through cybercrime or the theft of personal identity information is often insufficient to launch a full investigation.

For example, in the UK, police have delegated responsibility for smallscale cybercrime reporting to the banks. In these circumstances, how well would coordinated attacks be spotted? Are trends and patterns going to be sufficiently analyzed? If one person loses $1 million, the police response would be broad and well coordinated, but if a cybercriminal made $1 million from a million individuals, would they ever be caught?

The approach to cybercrime reporting differs in every territory, making it almost impossible to gather and analyze accurate statistics to assess the true scale of the problem. The US has launched the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a joint venture involving the FBI, which could provide a model for other countries to follow.

Individuals or institutions that are victims of cybercriminal attacks should have the opportunity to report crime and resulting losses more easily. Banks and law enforcement agencies need to coordinate better and reporting of crimes by individuals affected needs to be simpler and better policed. Too many individuals do not bother because they do not believe they will be helped.

A central organization should be responsible for coordinating the wholeself-reporting system and for initiating investigations. National bureaus should also be involved and should work intensively with the central organization to take national specificities better into consideration. Perhaps social media techniques could be used to “crowdsource” reports of theft or fraud.

In general, there needs to be a better relationship between individuals and law enforcement agencies to ensure adequate protection and detection of organized, widespread but individually low-level cybercrime.

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    Create an international treaty to promote global cooperation on the detection, investigation and prosecution of cybercrime.

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    To foster incentives for the development of products less likely to be attacked, initiate producer liability of software and other internet applications.

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    Polity