Sample PHD Criminology Dissertation Proposal

Transnational Crime and Security – Background and Possible Structures of Transnational Cyber Attacks

Abstract

Cybercrimes are an international concern that threatens the entire world. Today’s world relies heavily on digitization, where connections and linkages formed between computers across borders help people share information. With the rapid increase in the number of internet channels and reliance on the internet, the threats of cybercrimes affecting governments, companies, and individuals have also increased.

The cybercrimes committed in the world majorly transnational in nature, where different cybercriminals have different motives and purposes of attacking computers of a country, company, or an individual. This research tends to analyze the various forms of threats and the structure of the cyber-attacks, which poses a threat to national concerns. On the other hand, this research also aims to suggest suggesting the measures using which the international community can collaborate to exert a joint effort to reduce or eradicate the cyberattacks.

Introduction

Transnational crime may not be widely known by the people prevailing in the world. However, they might have experienced or witnessed different forms of transnational crimes that they are not aware of. Transnational crimes refer to the organized crimes that are executed by a group of individuals where the criminal activities are planned, coordinated, and controlled.

[1]. These crimes are committed across borders, which can be due to the alliance of different criminals across the globe. The crimes are committed by continuity, fulfilling the motivations of different criminal groups prevailing in the world. The motives behind committing a cybercrime mainly include financial gain. However, there can be several other motives for the crimes, including attaining the power of influence and commercial gains.

The world in which people live today can be considered a digital community where digital networks and linkages are formed across the countries to share information comprising large and valuable data. The entire infrastructure of information has been under the cybercriminals’ attack where the number of cybercrimes has been observed to follow an increasing trend.

The governmental bodies, commercial activities, and even individuals are becoming the victims of cybercrimes that are taking place around the world. [2]. Cybercriminals pose a severe threat to the world’s reliance on e-commerce and the informational infrastructure that revolves around it. Therefore the need for internet security to safeguard the interests and resources of the different informational structures is crucial for the world today.

[1] Berdal, M. R., & Serrano, M. (Eds.). (2002). Transnational organized crime and international security: business as usual?. Lynne Rienner Publishers.

[1] Edwards, A. and Gill, P. eds., 2004. Transnational organised crime: perspectives on global security. Routledge.

Problem Statement

Crime and security are the concepts whose relationships are merely opaque. However, both the concepts are distinct from each other, and several similarities can also be seen between them. Transnational cybercrimes have been the focus of various discussions and forums around the world. However, the measures taken to counter these criminal or terrorist activities is yet to be seen.

The public or private sectors of a country are seen to put efforts into securing their informational assets; however, a collective approach towards controlling cybercrimes also cannot be seen in the countries that have been the victim of severe cybercrimes in the past. [3].  The measures of transnational response are needed today much more than ever. To reduce the cyberattacks, it is important to understand different forms of cyber attacks and the structure using which cybercriminals pose a threat to the company’s informational structure. Further, the literature is scarce regarding cybercrimes where the planning and organization of these cybercrimes can be identified.

The Rationale of the Research

Since cybercrimes pose one of the most severe threats to the welfare of economies of different countries, it has been the center of attention for many researchers who have provided commendable information regarding the cybercrimes in countries around the world. However, the researchers conducted relevant to the topic of the research revolves around the impacts of cybercrimes on different economies of the country. Further, there have been several researchers who have identified various forms of cybercrimes that are committed in the world

[3] Perloff-Giles, A., 2018. Transnational Cyber Offenses: Overcoming Jurisdictional Challenges. Yale J. Int’l L.43, p.191.

today. [4]  [5]However, it can be seen that a gap in the literature exists in determining the various structures of the cybercrimes, elaborating the planning, excitement, and controlling of these crimes due to which crimes are committed without being able to get traced. Further, the literature can also be seen contain gaps for providing information regarding the factors that can facilitate cybercrimes in a country’s networking. Although various forms of cybercrimes impacts have been identified in the previous literature [6] [7] , the strategies and measures that can be used to counter these crimes are missing.

Purpose of the Study

The research’s main purpose revolves around the transnational cybercrimes that are taking place around the world today. This research intends to understand the various concepts related to cybercrimes and investigate the presence of cybercrimes across the countries. The

[4] Anderson, R., Barton, C., Böhme, R., Clayton, R., Van Eeten, M. J., Levi, M., … & Savage, S. (2013). Measuring the cost of cybercrime. In The economics of information security and privacy (pp. 265-300). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

[5] Taylor, R. W., Fritsch, E. J., & Liederbach, J. (2014). Digital crime and digital terrorism. Prentice Hall Press.

[6] Stabek, A., Watters, P., & Layton, R. (2010, July). The seven scam types: mapping the terrain of cybercrime. In Cybercrime and Trustworthy Computing Workshop (CTC), 2010 Second(pp. 41-51). IEEE.

[7] Saini, H., Rao, Y. S., & Panda, T. C. (2012). Cyber-crimes and their impacts: A review. International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications2(2), 202-209.

research questions formulated in the context of the cybercrimes that are being committed around the world where the research questions are based on determining the structures behind these crimes, the economic, financial, and social impacts of these cybercrimes, along with identifying the measures that can help countries, corporations, and individuals to protect themselves from cyber-attacks.

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Objectives

The objectives derived from conducting the research are as follows:

  • To determine various forms of transnational cybercrimes and their structures.
  • To identify the factors that facilitate the cybercriminals to commit severe crimes in a country.
  • To identify the measures that can be taken by the international community to counter the cybercrimes taking place around the world.

Research Questions

  • What are the various forms of transnational cybercrimes and their structures?
  • What are the factors that facilitate cybercriminals to commit severe crimes in a country?
  • What measures can be taken by the international community to counter the cybercrimes taking place around the world?

Literature Review

According to Shelley and Picarelli  [8] The reliance on wireless transportation of information increases, the threat of cybercrimes will also increase in the future. It is also predicted that the number of viruses, worms, and vandals will also be increased in the future, which will be populating the cyber world where a large amount of information is circulated, one of the severe threat posed by the cybercriminals is a Trojan, it is a virus installed in a PC which smartly transports all the data from the computer to the access of the cybercriminals, these Trojans tend to stay inside computers for a long period without showing its presence to the user nor posing any damage to the computers. Trojans are known to be passive viruses whose sole purpose is to steal the computers’ data without getting noticed.

These viruses are often downloaded into the computers by the users themselves. A simple email that tends to look harmless can contain a Trojan, which will be downloaded into the computers. Often many fake websites offer prizes. However, click through these websites can also enable the hackers to download Trojan into the computers  [9]  Once the Trojan is installed in a computer, the hackers can have full access to the files stored in the computer, while the hackers may also control the computers.

The threats posed by the cyber-attacks raises several concerns in the public interest. However, there hasn’t been a disaster that occurred until now. The financial losses incurred by different individuals and companies amounts to millions of dollars. The targets of cybercriminals include intelligence agencies, credit card details, and the database of a company.

[8]  Shelley, L.I. and Picarelli, J.T., 2005. Methods and motives: Exploring links between transnational organized crime and international terrorism. Trends in Organized Crime, 9(2), pp.52-67.

[9] Sofaer, A. D., & Goodman, S. E. (2001). Cybercrime and security. The transnational dimension. The transnational dimension of cyber-crime and terrorism, 1-34.

Methodology

This research will have a qualitative research design, which will collect secondary information by reviewing the various literature relating to cybercrimes. Further, this research will extract information from different research journals, articles, and websites that can provide essential information regarding transnational cybercrimes elaborating on the various forms of cybercrime and their structures.

The researchers can gather these resources through the internet, which consists of different sites and a portal containing published articles and research papers, along with the measures that must be taken by the international community to counter cyberattacks. Thematic analysis or content analysis is the required tool that will be incorporated while conducting this research.

Bibliography

Anderson, R., Barton, C., Böhme, R., Clayton, R., Van Eeten, M. J., Levi, M., … & Savage, S. (2013). Measuring the cost of cybercrime. In The economics of information security and privacy (pp. 265-300). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Berdal, M. R., & Serrano, M. (Eds.). (2002). Transnational organized crime and international security: business as usual?. Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Edwards, A. and Gill, P. eds., 2004. Transnational organized crime: perspectives on global security. Routledge.

Perloff-Giles, A., 2018. Transnational Cyber Offenses: Overcoming Jurisdictional Challenges. Yale J. Int’l L.43, p.191.

Shelley, L.I. and Picarelli, J.T., 2005. Methods and motives: Exploring links between transnational organized crime and international terrorism. Trends in Organized Crime9(2), pp.52-67.

Saini, H., Rao, Y. S., & Panda, T. C. (2012). Cyber-crimes and their impacts: A review. International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications2(2), 202-209.

Sofaer, A. D., & Goodman, S. E. (2001). Cybercrime and security. The transnational dimension. The transnational dimension of cybercrime and terrorism, 1-34.

Stabek, A., Watters, P., & Layton, R. (2010, July). The seven scam types: mapping the terrain of cybercrime. In Cybercrime and Trustworthy Computing Workshop (CTC), 2010 Second(pp. 41-51). IEEE.

Taylor, R. W., Fritsch, E. J., & Liederbach, J. (2014). Digital crime and digital terrorism. Prentice Hall Press.