Breach Notification , Cybercrime , Cybercrime as-a-service

Wait, Watch, Disrupt: How Police Keep Targeting Cybercrime

Top Targets: Providers and Infrastructure, Says Cybersecurity Expert Alan Woodward
Wait, Watch, Disrupt: How Police Keep Targeting Cybercrime
Alan Woodward, visiting professor, University of Surrey

What if all of the online-enabled crime in the world could be traced to a relatively small number of service providers and enablers?

In fact, a panel of cybersecurity and law enforcement experts, speaking at the Infosecurity Europe conference in London in 2015, estimated that just 200 individuals globally were providing the vast majority of all cybercrime services and infrastructure. Obviously, arresting even a small number of those individuals could take a big bite out of cybercrime.

Cybercrime expert Alan Woodward, who was one of those panelists, says that identifying and disrupting cybercrime service providers remains a top law enforcement priority.

"The people with the technical skills - there are not that many of them who've gone to the dark side," says Woodward, who's a visiting professor in England's University of Surrey. "The bottom line is: If you could get to them, then obviously, you could stop anything new happening. But also, it's rather like the bulletproof hosters. This … doesn't happen by magic. There has to be infrastructure working somewhere for this to happen, including ransomware, and a lot of effort has gone into trying to identify that and take it out."

In this audio interview with Information Security Media Group (click on player beneath image to listen), Woodward discusses:

  • How the cybercrime-as-a-service economy functions;
  • Cross-border law enforcement strategies for disrupting cybercrime;
  • The role of threat intelligence in spotting breaches and tracking criminal syndicates.

In addition to his role as visiting professor at the department of computing at University of Surrey, Woodward is nonexecutive director at TeenTech, which encourages teenagers to pursue careers in the fields of science, engineering and technology. He is also an academic cybersecurity adviser to the EU's law enforcement intelligence agency, Europol.

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