In 2018 RISCS expanded its interdisciplinary research community to develop further collaboration between the social sciences and cyber security professions. This was complemented by development of a new cyber crime-focused research programme, commissioned by the Home Office, via funding from the National Cyber Security Programme. The research programme comprises both longer-term, multi-year research projects and also shorter-term research.


AMoC: Advanced Modelling of Cyber Criminal Careers – New technology and intelligence from online evidence bases

A multidisciplinary investigation to understand the social and economic development of cybercriminal careers, using intelligent technologies, security informatics techniques and social science approaches. There is particular focus on the social interactions critical for enabling the career lifecycle. Additionally, any software tools and techniques developed will be shared with Law Enforcement.

Project Lead: Professor Awais Rashid, University of Bristol


Case by Case: Building a database on Cybercriminal Business Models

Aiming to build a database of typical business models and group structures for various crime types, to gain a richer micro level understanding for identification of vulnerabilities and better targeting of interventions.

Project Lead: Dr Jonathan Lusthaus, University of Oxford


Online Ties Taking Over? (OTTO) – A longitudinal study into actual vs perceived cybercriminal behaviour of offline vs online social ties among youth

Researching to what extent is there a causal relationship between the actual cybercriminal behaviour of social ties. Building on recent research findings that, like in traditional crime, cyber offenders more often have cybercriminal social ties, this study will be employing more reliable methodologies in order to inform Prevent interventions.

Project Lead: Dr Marleen Weulen Kranenbarg, Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam


Victims of Computer Misuse Crime

Seeks to undertake the first large-scale investigation of the victims of computer misuse crimes, focusing only on individuals and sole traders. It aims to examine the nature and impact of computer misuse crimes on victims, assess the support provided to victims and identify better means of preventing such crimes.

Project Lead: Mark Button, University of Portsmouth


Encouraging cyber security behaviour change through gentle interventions: Can ambient displays support users in making more secure decisions?

Aims to explore the potential for ambient displays (such as small, desktop light boxes) to gently encourage more secure habits in occupational and home contexts. It seeks to identify how security behaviours could be influenced by ambient displays, identify the most effective methods to use, develop an ambient display in line with this research and to evaluate the effectiveness of such a display on security behaviours.

Project Lead: Dr Emily Collins, University of Bath


Evaluating Criminal Transactional Methods in Cyberspace as Understood in an International Context

The main goal of the project is to understand cybercriminal financial strategies and operations and strengthen responses to the interdiction of these activities. Will conduct in-depth academic and “grey” literature reviews in English, Russian, Chinese, Spanish and French to identify financial and transactional online activities, and will develop a typology of services enabling the facilitation of criminal financial flows.

Project Lead: Dr Rajeev Gundar, University of Liverpool


Connecting delayed pre-commitment with cyber awareness in order to address the perception gap and present bias

Will explore the limitations in adoption of the Cyber First and Cyber Essentials schemes, looking at multiple factors affecting uptake by individuals and SMEs. The study will also test a low-cost intervention based around delayed pre-commitment, aimed at improving cyber security behaviours.

Project Lead: Dr Anna Cartwright, Coventry University


Understanding, Preventing and Responding to Cybercrime: Investigative interviewing of cybercrime victims to gain best evidence

This study aims to study and improve techniques for interviewing cybercrime victims. It will focus on how to improve and encourage reporting by victims, evaluating current Law Enforcement approaches and identifying areas for improvement, as well as profiling the typical characteristics of victims and how these differ by crime type.

Project Lead: Eerke Boiten, De Montfort University