Journal in Computer Virology

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 135–141 | Cite as

Considering the potential of criminal profiling to combat hacking

  • Jörg PreußEmail author
  • Steven M. Furnell
  • Maria Papadaki
Eicar 2007 Best Academic Papers


This paper outlines the results of a case study focusing upon hacking incidents in Germany. This work aims to identify behavioural aspects of hackers and their motives for the development of a Criminal Profile. Therefore cases of hacking incidents have been studied to find commonalities and differences for motives, as well as the Modus Operandi (MO). Cases that have been observed within this study are those in which the perpetrator had been identified in person. All cases have been provided by the Bundeskriminalamt (German Federal Criminal Police Office). A total of 12 cases are analysed, revealing a number of common traits in terms of hacker activity and the methods used. This study indicates that methods which have already been used years ago are still preferred methods today. In ten out of twelve cases the observed characteristics fit within in the stereotype of a Script Kiddie. Only two hackers differed regarding their motives compared to the Script Kiddie hackers, but a significant difference regarding their methods—the MO—could not be noticed. From the twelve cases under investigation a basic principle could be identified: the hackers take the path of the least effort. This reveals a clue for the fact that a different motive does not necessarily lead to different methods.


Intrusion Detection System Child Porn Computer Crime Attack Method Modus Operandi 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Arnone, M.: White hat, gray hat, black hat: can teach government and industry valuable IT security lessons, Retrieved 25 March 2007, from (2005)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Artelt, C., Baumert, J., Klieme, E., Neubrand, M., Prenzel, M., Schiefele, U., Schneider, W., Schümer, G., Stanat, P., Tillmann, K.-J., Weiß, M.: PISA 2000: Zusammenfassung zentraler Befunde, Retrieved 28 December 2006 (2001) from Scholar
  3. 3.
    Buckingham A., Saunders P. (2004) The Survey Methods Workbook: from Design to Analysis. Polity Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bundeskriminalamt: Police Crime Statistics 2002: Federal Republic of Germany, Retrieved 27 December 2006 from Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bundesregierung: Lebenslagen in Deutschland: Der 2. Armutsbericht er Bundesregierung—Kurzfassung, Retrieved 5 January 2007 (2005) from,property=pdf,bereich=bmas,sprache=de,rwb=true.pdfGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fendley, S.: As the Bot Turns, Retrieved 11 November 2006, from Scholar
  7. 7.
    Furnell, S.M.: The problem of categorising cybercrime and cybercriminals. In: Proceedings of the 2nd Australian Information Warfare and Security Conference, Perth, Western Australia, 29–30 November 2001Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Holz, T.: A Short Visit to the Bot Zoo, Retrieved 11 November 2006 (2005) from Scholar
  9. 9.
    Icove, D., Seger, K., VonStorch, W.: Computer Crime: A Crimefighter’s Handbook. O’Reilly & Associates, Sebastopol (1995)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lurhq: Phatbot Trojan Analysis, Retrieved 11 November 2006 (2004) from Scholar
  11. 11.
    Meyr, J.: Wohnungseinbruch in München, Kriminalistik, no. 2, pp. 118–120. Kriminalistik Verlag, Heidelberg (2006)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ollmann, G.: HTML Code Injection and Cross-site Scripting, Retrieved 3 December 2006 (2003) from Scholar
  13. 13.
    Preuss, J., Furnell, S.M., Lea, S.J.: Research in Progress Paper, The Adoption of Criminal Profiling for Computer Crime. In: Gattiker, U.E. (ed.), EICAR 2004 Conference CD-rom: Best Paper Proceedings (ISBN: 87-987271-6-8), EICAR e.V., Copenhagen, 16 p (2004)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Schultz, A.: Neue Strafbarkeiten und Probleme—Der Entwurf des Strafrechtsänderungsgesetzes (StrafÄndG) zur Bekämpfung der Computerkriminalität vom 20.09.2006, Retrieved 17 November 2006, from Scholar
  15. 15.
    Schwartau W. (2000) Cybershock. Thunder’s Mouth Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Taylor P. (1999) Hackers: Crime in the Digital Sublime. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Turkle S. (1995) Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. Touchstone, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Turvey B. (2003) Criminal profiling: an introduction to behavioral evidence analysis, 2nd edn. Academic, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    UNICEF.: A League Table of Educational Disadvantage in Rich Nations, Retrieved 28 December 2006 (2002) from Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jörg Preuß
    • 1
    Email author
  • Steven M. Furnell
    • 1
  • Maria Papadaki
    • 1
  1. 1.Network Research Group, School of Computing, Communications & ElectronicsUniversity of PlymouthPlymouthUK

Personalised recommendations