Psychological Profiling of Cyber Criminals

In the last few years, cybercrime has become the method of choice for an increasing number of criminals. As a result, psychologists are now being drawn into law enforcement in an effort to construct profiles of cyber criminals, including malicious insiders and hackers, providing organizations with an improved opportunity to defend against external threats and identify internal threats more easily.

According to experts, developing an understanding of the sociological, criminological, and psychological elements involved in cybercrime can help enhance defences while also increasing the chances of nabbing criminals before they are able to cause significant damage and losses. The same can also prove to be true for identifying malicious insiders who may exhibit certain predispositions that could trigger them to embark upon a criminal path. As psychologists explain, a malicious insider may also be triggered by a sense of injustice or even being slighted professionally, which could cause him or her to develop justifications for poor behaviour.

Psychological Profiling in Computer Crimes

While computer systems have become increasingly advanced in the last few years, cybercrime has become more sophisticated, as well. The methods used for breaking into computer systems are now more complex and sophisticated than ever. This necessitates the use of even more complex security measures. Even so, in order to combat cybercrime in the most effective manner, it often means searching for the criminals committing those crimes. Psychological profiling can prove to be of tremendous benefits in investigating computer crimes.

In the past, psychological profiling was primarily used in murder cases, but today, it is being increasingly called upon to determine the personality type most commonly associated with cyber criminals. This is based on the concept that there tends to be a relationship between the personality of an offender and the acts that he or she commits. Based on the method of operation and any traces left by cyber criminals, it is often possible for psychologists to infer quite a lot about a criminal’s psychological characteristics. Such profiling can also be used in investigating network attacks.

For instance, computer crime perpetrators tend to rely on the anonymity offered by the Internet to commit their crimes. Even so, cyber criminals tend to have their own distinctive techniques used for break-ins, which make it possible to track serial crimes and identify a perpetrator’s profile.

Hacker Profile Model

A prime example is that of a hacker’s profile model. Psychologists have found that a certain external environment, including family influence (such as poor relationships with parents and siblings), is often found in the origins of hackers. Cyber criminals involved in hacking may experience difficulties in school. Such individuals may also have experienced trauma or may have a past medical history.

How Cybercrime Operations Work — and Why They Make Money

As methods for committing cybercrime have continued to evolve, cybercrime has developed into a profession. At the same time, the demographic involving typical cyber criminals has changed quickly. No longer are cyber criminals geeky teenagers working from their bedrooms; today, an organized cyber criminal could be part of a far-reaching crime circle involved in money laundering, extortion, and drug trafficking.

One of the reasons that cybercrime can be committed so easily is the fact that many of the phishing tools involved in cybercrime can be acquired for very little money. In fact, cyber criminals can send out thousands of phishing emails for less than $100. Yet, this type of activity can net thousands of dollars in ill-gotten gains when the criminals in question uncover bank and credit card account information. While not everyone who receives such a phishing email will respond, enough people will respond to make it well worth the time, effort, and energy of cyber criminals.