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Cybercrime Investigators are Users Too! Understanding the Socio-Technical Challenges Faced by Law Enforcement

Nouh, Mariam, Nurse, Jason R. C., Webb, Helena, Goldsmith, Michael (2019) Cybercrime Investigators are Users Too! Understanding the Socio-Technical Challenges Faced by Law Enforcement. In: Proceedings of the 2019 Workshop on Usable Security (USEC) at Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS). . Internet Society (KAR id:71674)

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Cybercrime investigators face numerous challenges when policing online crimes. Firstly, the methods and processes they use when dealing with traditional crimes do not necessarily apply in the cyber-world. Additionally, cyber criminals are usually technologically-aware and constantly adapting and developing new tools that allow them to stay ahead of law enforcement investigations. In order to provide adequate support for cybercrime investigators, there needs to be a better understanding of the challenges they face at both technical and socio-technical levels. In this paper, we investigate this problem through an analysis of current practices and workflows of investigators. We use interviews with experts from government and private sectors who investigate cybercrimes as our main data gathering process. From an analysis of the collected data, we identify several outstanding challenges faced by investigators. These pertain to practical, technical, and social issues such as systems availability, usability, and in computer-supported collaborative work. Importantly, we use our findings to highlight research areas where user-centric workflows and tools are desirable. We also define a set of recommendations that can aid in providing a better foundation for future research in the field and allow more effective combating of cybercrimes.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Uncontrolled keywords: cybercrime, law enforcement, policing, online crime, security, usability, socio-technical, workflow, computer-supported collaborative work
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Jason Nurse
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2019 00:17 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:01 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Nurse, Jason R. C.:
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