ATLANTA—Georgia State University’s Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Research Group will examine the supply chain supporting underground markets in a new project designed to disrupt such operations.
The project is supported with a Disrupting Operations of Illicit Supply Networks planning grant of nearly $250,000 from the National Science Foundation.
The first study of its kind, it is led by Yubao Wu, David Maimon and Robert Harrison. They will assemble a research community of academics and researchers drawn from criminology, political science, economics and other scientific disciplines along with law enforcement professionals and financial and health industry partners experienced in the flow of information, banking, and data gathering and analysis.
These experts will examine the operation of illicit supply chains used for virtual products such as credit cards and online identities, counterfeit currency and fraudulent documents. Their work will help policymakers and law enforcement agencies develop ethical and legal interventions for online and virtual criminal markets by suggesting where best to implement the disruptive efforts needed to dismantle these networks.
“Illicit commerce, in both conventional markets and online darknet markets, relies on supply chains that coordinate the production, sales, information and capital flows,” Wu said. “They work much like supply chains for legitimate commerce. We will investigate these network interactions and how well they deal with events like law enforcement interventions, health crises and rival groups’ efforts.”
They will also examine the potential overlap of legitimate and illicit supply chain operations.
“We will generate low-cost but powerful tools to counter the efforts of online offenders who engage in different illegal activities along the various junctions of the online illicit supply chain,” Maimon said. “Additionally, the empirical evidence, expert insights and solid institutional relationships we generate will lay the groundwork for future high-impact projects that impact illicit cyber networks and operations.”
Evidence Based Cybersecurity Research Group
David Maimon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Georgia State University. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the Ohio State University in 2009. Prior to joining Georgia State University ranks, David held a professor position at the University of Maryland. David’s research interests include theories of human behaviors, cyber-enabled and cyber-dependent crimes and experimental research methods. In 2015 he was awarded the “Young Scholar Award” from the “White-Collar Crime Research Consortium of the National White-Collar Crime Center” for his cybercrime research. He is also the recipient of the “Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars Faculty Mentor Award” (from the University of Maryland), and the “Best Publication Award in Mental Health” (from the American Sociological Association). His current research focuses on computer hacking and the progression of system trespassing events, computer networks vulnerabilities to cyber attacks, and decision-making process in cyber space. He is also conducting research on intellectual property and cyber fraud.