Ralf HallerRalf Haller December 11, 2014

Assessing the Evolution of Cybercrime

by Guest speaker Francesca Bosco, Project Officer Emerging Crimes Unit at UNICRI (United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute)

What image comes to mind when you picture a cybercriminal? Is it the Hollywood hacker, male, bespectacled, and working alone in the darkened basement of his parents’ house?  Is he the stereotyped computer geek, developing his own hacking tools from scratch, illegally accessing government databases for fun, and maybe dabbling, just a bit, into the realm of identity theft?

Our perception of the typical cybercriminal is rooted in pop culture, yet the phenomena of cybercrime has developed rapidly in recent years, transforming the ways in which criminals operate and putting average citizens at risk of becoming cyber victims.

The financial, not to mention the mental and emotional, impact of cybercrime is enormous. In its report, Net Losses: Estimating the Global Cost of Cybercrime, computer security software giant, McAfee, estimated that the annual global cost of cybercrime to the world economy was upwards of $400 billion.

Today’s cybercrime targets range from big corporations and governments, to individuals, with many people’s personal information becoming collateral damage in the process. Cybercriminals themselves are less likely to be computer geniuses, developing their own cyber weapons, but rather people of average intelligence, often working within an organized crime network, utilizing prefabricated, user-friendly hacking tools obtained on the dark net.

The borderless environment of cyberspace has allowed traditional organized crime groups to reinvent and diversify their activities, while also fostering the creation of new, loosely connected networks of cybercriminals. The advancement of cybercrime technology challenges the capabilities of law enforcement agencies, and the emergence of new threats within the cyber landscape, such as the expansion of the dark net, proliferation of crypto-currencies, and the development of new types of malware, presents a formidable challenge to the field of cybersecurity.

At Extendance’s upcoming Cyber Intelligence event in January, we plan to explore, together, the evolution of cybercrime and the current threat landscape in this domain, address the nature of the modern cybercriminal, and look to solutions for combating cybercrime in the future.


Francesca Bosco will speak at the

extendance event on January 13, 2015 in Zürich7. Cyber Intelligence