The ‘Cybercrime Index’ Ranks Countries by Cybercrime Threat Level

The ‘Cybercrime Index’ Ranks Countries by Cybercrime Threat Level

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An international team of researchers worked for three years to compile the first ever “World Cybercrime Index” (which was developed as a joint partnership between the University of Oxford and UNSW) identifying the world’s key cybercrime hotspots and ranking the most significant sources of cybercrime (at a national level). At the top of the list there’s Russia, followed by Ukraine, China, the US, Nigeria, Romania, and the UK.

Dr. Miranda Bruce who co-wrote the study said it will help the public and private sectors focus their resources on key cybercrime hubs and spend less time and funds on cybercrime countermeasures in countries where the problem is not as significant.

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

The data compiled to create the Index was collected through a survey of 92 leading cybercrime experts from around the world who are involved in the investigation of cybercrime.

Co-author Associate Professor Jonathan Lusthaus explained that so far, cybercrime has largely been an invisible phenomenon since cybercriminals often hide their physical locations by using fake profiles and technical protections. He explained that since cybercriminals bounce their attacks around internet infrastructure across the world, the best way to draw a picture of their location is to survey those whose job it is to track them.

The World Cybercrime Index is the first step in a wider mission to understand the local dimensions of cybercrime production across the world. Co-author Professor Federico Varese states: “Many people think that cybercrime is global and fluid, but this study supports the view that, much like forms of organized crime, it is embedded within particular contexts.”