Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


International Crime and Justice

First Advisor's Name

Rob T. Guerette

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Ryan Charles Meldrum

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Stephen Pires

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Alexander Perez-Pons

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Kyung-shick Choi

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Cybercrime Triangle, Offender, Victim, Place

Date of Defense



Information technology can increase the convergence of three dimensions of the crime triangle due to the spatial and temporal confluence in the virtual world. In other words, its advancement can lead to facilitating criminals with more chances to commit a crime against suitable targets living in different real-world time zones without temporal and spatial orders. However, within this mechanism, cybercrime can be discouraged “…if the cyber-adversary is handled, the target/victim is guarded, or the place is effectively managed” (Wilcox & Cullen, 2018, p. 134). In fact, Madensen and Eck (2013) assert that only one effective controller is enough to prevent a crime. Given this condition of the crime triangle, it must be noted that each of these components (the offender, the target, and the place) or controllers (i.e., handler, guardian, and manager) can play a pivotal role in reducing cybercrime.

To date, scholars and professionals have analyzed the phenomenon of cybercrime and developed cybercrime prevention strategies relying predominantly on cybercrime victimization (suitable targets) but have yet to utilize the broader framework of the crime triangle commonly used in the analysis and prevention of crime. More specifically, the dimensions of cybercrime offenders, places, or controllers have been absent in prior scientific research and in guiding the establishment and examination of cybercrime prevention strategies. Given this gap, much remains to be known as to how these conceptual entities operate in the virtual realm and whether they share similarities with what we know about other crimes in the physical world. Thus, the purpose of this study is to extend the application of the “Crime Triangle,” a derivative of Routine Activity Theory, to crime events in the digital realm to provide scholars, practitioners, and policy makers a more complete lens to improve understanding and prevention of cybercrime incidents. In other words, this dissertation will endeavor to devise a comprehensive framework for our society to use to form cybersecurity policies to implement a secure and stable digital environment that supports continued economic growth as well as national security.

The findings of this study suggest that both criminological and technical perspectives are crucial in comprehending cybercrime incidents. This dissertation attempts to independently explore these three components in order to portray the characteristics of cybercriminals, cybercrime victims, and place management. Specifically, this study first explores the characteristics of cybercriminals via a criminal profiling method primarily using court criminal record documents (indictments/complaints) provided by the FIU law library website. Second, the associations between cybercrime victims, digital capable guardianship, perceived risks of cybercrime, and online activity are examined using Eurobarometer survey data. Third, the associations between place management activities and cybercrime prevention are examined using “Phishing Campaign” and “Cybersecurity Awareness Training Program” data derived from FIU’s Division of Information Technology.



Included in

Criminology Commons



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