Cyber offenders: the unique profile, unique approach? Characteristics of cyber offenders and appropriate interventions investigated

Our society can no longer not imagine the threat of cybercrime. Banks, companies, and schools are hacked, or "DDoSed", with increasing regularity and data is being stolen or taken hostage. For adequate responses to this threat, we need more knowledge of the perpetrators. What are the characteristics and profiles of cyber offenders? To what extent do they differ from "traditional" offenders? Does cybercrime require a unique approach to perpetrators, or can traditional interventions be enough?

In this study, research was conducted into characteristics of juvenile and adult perpetrators of cybercrime in the narrow sense and appropriate and potentially effective interventions. For this purpose, literature research was done, and interviews and focus groups were held with experts from almost all cooperation partners in the approach to cyber offenders (52 respondents). Interviews were also conducted with 14 cyber offenders (involved in hacking, DDoS attacks and virtual theft, etc.). The study was commissioned by the Scientific Research and Documentation Center by criminologists Dr Wytske van der Wagen, Dr Elina van 't Zand, Sifra Matthijsse MSc and Dr Tamar Fischer from Erasmus University Rotterdam and Leiden University.