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.

  • Illustration of a large gavel crashing down on self-driving cars, illustration by Chris Philpot

    Essay

    Who's Responsible When Your Car Gets Hacked?

    Oct 23, 2019

    Cars are becoming "fast, heavy artificial intelligences on wheels," a RAND report cautions, and that means they're becoming vulnerable. Potentially billions of dollars ride on the question of who has the legal responsibility to keep hackers from grabbing the wheel or cutting the brakes.

  • Cybercrime concept of handcuffs icon on a digital background, photo by blackboard/Adobe Stock

    Report

    What Could Help Law Enforcement Deal with Crime on the Dark Web?

    Oct 29, 2019

    Crime in traditional online forums often leaves a trail of data that can be followed. But on the dark web, the process of collecting those data and turning them into evidence can be difficult. A panel of law enforcement practitioners and researchers identified ways to address this challenge.

Explore Cybercrime

  • News Release

    Cost of Cyber Incidents Not Large Compared with Other Business Losses; May Influence Responses by Businesses

    Data breaches have made headlines in recent years, exposing poor practices that put the personal information of millions of consumers at risk. But the cost of a typical cyber breach is much less than generally estimated, providing one possible explanation for why American companies do not invest more to improve computer security.

    Sep 20, 2016

  • A man counting pills on his laptop

    Commentary

    Dark Web Likely Isn't Fuelling International Drug Sales

    Vendors in the Netherlands have developed a fairly successful international trade of ecstasy-type drugs and stimulants from online markets, but it appears that most countries are selling illicit drugs within their own borders.

    Sep 19, 2016

  • Cyber illustration of a judge's gavel

    Commentary

    The Future of Cyber Investigations at the FBI Is Unclear

    Evidence presented by the FBI in the case of U.S. v. Jay Michaud was excluded because the agency was unwilling to reveal the software exploit used to collect it. If the FBI exposes its capabilities, other criminals can patch their computers, but concealing its techniques risks the ability to prosecute cyber criminals.

    Aug 24, 2016

  • News Release

    Untangling the 'Dark Web': New Study Shows Steady Growth of the Online Illicit Drugs Trade

    The number of transactions for illicit drugs on cryptomarkets, which exist on the “dark web,” have tripled and revenues have doubled since 2013, when Silk Road 1.0 was shut down by the FBI.

    Aug 8, 2016

  • Research Brief

    The role of the 'dark web' in the trade of illicit drugs

    The Internet has fundamentally changed ways of doing business, including the operations of illegal markets. RAND Europe was commissioned to investigate the role of the Internet in facilitating the drugs trade, particularly in the Netherlands.

    Aug 5, 2016

  • Spider web

    Report

    Growth of the Online Illicit Drugs Trade

    Silk Road was the first major online marketplace for illegal goods on the hidden web. Since the FBI took it down in 2013, copycats have filled the void. Transactions for illicit drugs on cryptomarkets have tripled and revenues have doubled.

    Aug 5, 2016

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives for a personal send-off for members of the Russian Olympic team at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, July 27, 2016

    Commentary

    How to Counter Putin's Subversive War on the West

    Russian cybercrime, Olympics doping, and other active measures have one thing in common: Moscow admits no wrongdoing. These scandals exacerbate the frigid relations between Moscow and the West. Diplomacy sometimes works slowly, but it helps.

    Aug 1, 2016

  • Guo Shengkun, China's Minister of Public Security, speaks during the Second U.S.-China High-Level Joint Dialogue on Cybercrime and Related Issues in Beijing, China, June 14, 2016

    Commentary

    The U.S.-China Cyber Agreement: A Good First Step

    The 2015 U.S.-China cyber agreement is a potentially important first step toward addressing the problem of Chinese espionage. But it is by no means a final step.

    Aug 1, 2016

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: July-August 2016

    This issue highlights the stress of military deployments and resilience of military families; RAND research on cybercrime, network defense, and data breaches; the 40th anniversary of RAND's landmark Health Insurance Experiment; and more.

    Jun 27, 2016

  • Eyeball on a laptop computer screen

    Essay

    The Digital Underworld: What You Need to Know

    A growing threat is emanating from a digital underworld where hackers sell their services like mercenaries and credit-card numbers can be had for pennies on the dollar.

    Jun 24, 2016

  • Illustration of data encryption

    Blog

    RAND's Lillian Ablon Presents 'Lessons from a Hacker'

    Lillian Ablon, a cybersecurity and emerging technologies researcher, spoke at a RAND Policy Circle Conversation on the world's expanding cyber vulnerability, those who are out there to take advantage of those vulnerabilities, as well as consumer attitudes toward breaches.

    Jun 1, 2016

  • Congressional Briefing Podcast

    Multimedia

    Getting to Yes with China in Cyberspace: Is It Possible?

    In this May 2016 congressional briefing, RAND experts Scott W. Harold and Martin Libicki discuss the differing perspectives and interests of the United States and China in cyberspace.

    May 2, 2016

  • Journal Article

    Good Practice Guide on Vulnerability Disclosure: From Challenges to Recommendations

    Vulnerabilities are 'flaws' or 'mistakes' in computer-based systems that may be exploited to compromise the network and information security of affected systems.

    Apr 27, 2016

  • News Release

    One-Fourth of American Adults Notified of Data Breach in Past Year; Few Consumers Penalize Hacked Companies

    About a quarter of American adults reported that they were notified about their personal information being part of a data breach in the previous year, but only 11 percent of those who have ever been notified say they stopped doing business with the hacked company afterwards.

    Apr 13, 2016

  • Infographic

    Data Theft Victims, and Their Response to Breach Notifications

    This infographic highlights the results of a study of consumer attitudes toward data breaches, notifications of those breaches, and company responses to such events.

    Apr 13, 2016

  • Woman typing into a laptop

    Report

    Few Consumers Penalize Hacked Companies for Data Breaches

    About a quarter of American adults surveyed reported that they received a data breach notification in the past year, but 77 percent of them were highly satisfied with the company's post-breach response. Only 11 percent of respondents stopped dealing with the company afterwards.

    Apr 13, 2016

  • View to an operating room through an office window

    Commentary

    Ransomware Hackers Are Coming for Your Health Records

    Cyber criminals may be preying on hospitals because cyber protection measures likely have not kept pace with electronic data collection and because hospitals typically do not have backup systems and databases in place, even though such attacks can strain health care systems and potentially put patients' lives at risk.

    Apr 11, 2016

  • Transportation soldiers and civilian harbormasters move cargo containers onto awaiting vessels in a training exercise at Joint Base Langley-Eustis

    Commentary

    Ten Years After the Safe Port Act, Are America's Ports Secure?

    The economic importance and visibility of America's ports make them attractive terrorism targets. Port security has improved, but many of the threats that motivated the Safe Ports Act in 2006 remain, and new dangers have emerged, including cyber threats.

    Apr 6, 2016

  • U.S. sailors assigned to Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command monitor, analyze, detect, and respond to unauthorized activity within U.S. Navy information systems and networks

    Commentary

    The Online Fight Against ISIS

    To prevail against ISIS in cyberspace, the United States and its cyber soldiers will have to be capable of reacting quickly, while being guided by an overarching strategy. Secretary of Defense Carter urged U.S. Cyber Command to intensify the fight against ISIS but it would also be wise to recruit civilian volunteers.

    Apr 1, 2016

  • A senior airman working in defensive cyber operations at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Commentary

    Rather Than Fearing 'Cyber 9/11,' Prepare for 'Cyber Katrina'

    The United States needs a smooth, well-functioning mutual aid system for cybersecurity that provides all of the hard-won benefits of the nation's system for hurricanes and other emergencies.

    Mar 30, 2016