Hack­ers Are Not Real­ly Anony­mous: Study


Often called the modern day Pirates who plunder and pillage the vast seas of the internet shadowed by anonymity, hackers are mostly considered to be untraceable but a recent study suggests quite the contrary.

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According to a research conducted at Oxford University, hackers aren’t as anonymous as we think and are always located at a physical location which can be zeroed in upon using several techniques.

The research published in Policing journal suggested that contextualising the threat and motivations of cyber criminals by learning about the locality and economy of the people attacked, will make it easier for the police to trace and stop them.

“Understanding the human aspects of cyber criminals — where they live, what they do, who they know, how they are organised and operate — is key to addressing the problem in a complete way,” said Jonathan Lusthaus, co-author of the study.

According to the research’s co-author Federico Varese, understanding cybercrime isn’t just about the victims but one has to look at the supply of the activity.

“For too long the emphasis has been put on cyber crime as a global activity, but it is a very localised issue. Cybercrime thrives in those places where they can operate with less fear of arrest or punishment,” Varese noted.

Wifi Hacking

“The people involved are not necessarily sophisticated or even high-tech criminal masterminds. They are everyday people with a motivation and an opportunity. If we really focus on where this activity is taking place we should see a reduction in crimes committed,” he added.

The researchers also argued that cyber crime needs to be tackled at its place of origin. The study focused on Romania, one of the poorest countries in Europe, for the research.

“For those not in a position to take advantage of job opportunities in the sector, and outside of the country, a career in cyber crime, known to be financially rewarding, is very tempting,” the research found.

Fraud on the internet is a big issue in the country which has a number of successful IT companies and an average monthly salary of $470 per month.

The research concluded that to effectively fight cyber crime, it’s important that the local law enforcement agencies interpret and intervene at the correct time.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Bike enthusiast, traveller, ManUtd follower, army brat, word-smith; Delhi University, Asian College of Journalism, Cardiff University alumnus; a journalist breathing tech these days.