Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
International Crime and Justice
First Advisor's Name
Rob T. Guerette
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Ryan Charles Meldrum
Second Advisor's Committee Title
Third Advisor's Name
Third Advisor's Committee Title
Fourth Advisor's Name
Fourth Advisor's Committee Title
Fifth Advisor's Name
Fifth Advisor's Committee Title
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.
Back, Sinchul, "The Cybercrime Triangle" (2019). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4450.
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