Cybercrime

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A wide range of computer security threats exists—including faulty software, password trafficking and fraud, and hostile groups intending to inflict damage—and awareness of these threats varies. RAND has conducted research to measure and increase understanding of the impact of cybercrime on businesses and governments and has addressed such issues as the pros and cons of counterattack, the value of deterrence and vigilance, and actions that can be taken in the face of cyberattack.

  • A laptop computer, a 9mm handgun, and bullets, photo by eldadcarin/Getty Images

    Report

    U.S. Weapons Are the Main Source of Illegal Arms on the Dark Web

    Jul 19, 2017

    Sixty percent of weapons on sale on the dark web come from the United States. This illicit market for firearms, explosives, and ammunition can anonymously arm criminals, terrorists, and others.

  • Credit cards, a chain, an open padlock, and a computer keyboard are visible next to the Equifax logo, illustration by Dado Ruvic/Reuters

    Commentary

    Equifax and the Data-Breach Era

    Oct 18, 2017

    The personal and financial data of almost 146 million U.S. consumers has been compromised by the Equifax breach, the latest in a long line of high-profile hacks. Do consumers worry enough about such breaches? And what options are available to Congress?

Explore Cybercrime

  • Brochure

    A focus on cybersecurity

    Cybersecurity has risen to become a prominent issue of national and global security for governments and international organisations worldwide. A focus on cybersecurity looks at the issues and details RAND Europe's expertise and work in the area.

    Feb 15, 2018

  • Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, February 9, 2018

    Commentary

    Why the 2018 Winter Olympics Are the Perfect Storm for Cyberattacks

    The Olympic Games could invite the most severe cyber threats to a major sporting event in recent years. The location of the Games and increased connectivity, both among the public and infrastructure, make them a prime target for cyberattacks.

    Feb 12, 2018

  • Shiny gold Bitcoin coin with gun on black background

    Commentary

    Bitcoin and the Dark Web: The New Terrorist Threat?

    Bitcoin has become the prominent currency of the dark web, which is often used to buy illegal goods, such as weapons and drugs. Anecdotal evidence suggests terrorists are using cryptocurrency and the dark web, but further investigation is needed.

    Jan 22, 2018

  • A security lock symbol on computer circuit board

    Report

    Law Enforcement Cyber Center: Final Technical Report

    Cybercrime is a challenge for local and state law enforcement. The Law Enforcement Cyber Center (LECC) was established to provide a resource to combat cybercrime. This report summarizes the LECC's activities and provides recommendations.

    Jan 15, 2018

  • Report

    Estimating the Global Cost of Cyber Risk: Methodology and Examples

    This report shares a transparent and adaptable methodology for estimating present and future global costs of cyber risk. The report has a companion Excel-based modeling and simulation platform that allows users to alter assumptions.

    Jan 15, 2018

  • A composite image with hands on a keyboard and a padlock surrounded by a visualisation of a computer network

    Tool

    Estimating the Global Cost of Cyber Risk Calculator

    This Excel-based modeling and simulation tool estimates present and future global costs of cyber attacks and incidents. Users can also alter assumptions to investigate a wide variety of research questions.

    Jan 15, 2018

  • Conceptual image of human voice

    Commentary

    Fake Voices Will Become Worryingly Accurate

    New technology can convincingly fake the human voice and create security nightmares. Considering the widespread distrust of the media, institutions, and expert gatekeepers, audio fakery could start wars.

    Jan 8, 2018

  • A child poses with a Lego Boost set, a predicted top seller this Christmas, at the Hamleys toy store in London, Britain, October 12, 2017

    Commentary

    Smart Toys May Pose Risks

    Parents shouldn't avoid buying smart toys during the holidays, particularly if these devices top children's Christmas lists. But parents should definitely be wary of the security and privacy risks that smart toys can pose.

    Dec 21, 2017

  • Criminal hiding behind a mask on computer screen asking the owner for money

    Commentary

    The WannaCry Cyber Attack Could Be the First of Many If the NHS Takes No Action

    In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) was one of the organizations most severely affected by the WannaCry ransomware. The NHS and other public sector organizations need to improve their cybersecurity processes and quickly before a more severe cyber attack takes place.

    Dec 1, 2017

  • Computer hacker with magnifying glass

    Commentary

    It's Time for the International Community to Get Serious About Vulnerability Equities

    Multiple countries around the world are likely discovering, retaining and exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities without a process to properly consider the trade-offs. This needs to change. It’s time for the international community to get serious about vulnerability equities.

    Nov 15, 2017

  • Hands typing with visual of computer code

    Multimedia

    Equifax and the Data-Breach Era: How Worried Should We Be?

    Large-scale data breaches like those of Equifax and OPM compromised the personal data of millions of people. What can be done to improve the response to such breaches? In this October 26th congressional briefing, Lillian Ablon and Sina Beaghley address victim and lawmaker reactions, national security implications, and considerations for policymakers.

    Oct 26, 2017

  • Woman using smartphone and laptop with icon graphic cyber security network of connected devices and personal data security

    Commentary

    How to Help Small Businesses Deal with Cyber Threats

    Small businesses are especially vulnerable to cyber threats. What can be done to provide small businesses the security to continue to prosper, while enhancing America's cybersecurity workforce and making the economy more secure?

    Sep 15, 2017

  • Hacked internet of things

    Commentary

    Gaming Policy in Cyberspace

    Hacked devices and intellectual property theft are a rich hunting ground for policy development. The challenge posed by Internet-connect devices is only getting worse as the number of online devices continues to grow.

    Aug 23, 2017

  • Digital devices on a map of Australia

    Report

    Australia's Cyber Security Policy Options

    An exercise with participants from government, industry, think tanks, academia, and the media explored opportunities to improve cyber security and inform Australia's strategy. Recommendations include creating and enforcing technology security standards, crafting international agreements to address challenges, and increasing awareness to keep users safe online.

    Aug 7, 2017

  • Girl Scouts compete in the Mission Ocean Challenge during the USS California Science Experience at Naval Surface Warfare Center, November 6, 2010

    Commentary

    Cybersecurity Badge: One Big Step for Girl Scouts, Potentially Giant Leap for Women

    The Girl Scouts will start offering 18 cybersecurity badges next year. In addition to exposing girls to cyber concepts and challenges, this could encourage them to pursue cybersecurity or other STEM careers in which women are underrepresented.

    Aug 3, 2017

  • Computer hacker working on laptop late at night in office

    Commentary

    Connect, Buy-Now, Fire: How the Dark Web Allows Criminals to Buy Weapons—Anonymously

    Despite its small size compared to the offline market, the ability of the dark web to anonymously arm individuals of all backgrounds needs to be taken seriously. Its potential impact on international security is significant.

    Jul 25, 2017

  • News Release

    US Weapons Main Source of Illegal Arms Trade on the Dark Web

    The illegal sales on the dark web of firearms, weapons, explosives, and banned digital guides on homemade products present challenges for law enforcement agencies and national governments. Its potential to anonymously arm criminals and terrorists, as well as vulnerable and fixated individuals, is the most dangerous aspect.

    Jul 19, 2017

  • A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him

    Report

    Could Stateless Attribution Promote International Cyber Accountability?

    The public may respond to government claims about who is behind a cyberattack with suspicion and confusion. Could an independent, global organization for cyber attribution help?

    Jun 2, 2017