From Cybercrime to Cyborg Crime: Botnets as Hybrid Criminal Actor-Networks

Wytske van der Wagen, Wolter Pieters

  • 9 Citations

Abstract

Botnets, networks of infected computers controlled by a commander, increasingly play a role in a broad range of cybercrimes. Although often studied from technological perspectives, a criminological perspective could elucidate the organizational structure of botnets and how to counteract them. Botnets, however, pose new challenges for the rather anthropocentric theoretical repertoire of criminology, as they are neither fully human nor completely machine driven. We use Actor-Network Theory (ANT) to provide a symmetrical perspective on human and non-human agency in hybrid cybercriminal networks and analyze a botnet case from this perspective. We conclude that an ANT lens is particularly suitable for shedding light on the hybrid and intertwined offending, victimization and defending processes, leading to the new concept of ‘cyborg crime'.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalBritish journal of criminology
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 6 Mar 2015

Fingerprint

Actor-network theory
perspective
Repertoire
Victimization
Anthropocentric
Nonhuman
Crime
Criminology
Controlled
Organizational structure
Cyborgs
actor-network-theory
human being
network
Crime Victims
criminology
organizational structure
victimization
machine
offense

Keywords

  • EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP7/318003
  • EWI-25874
  • agency
  • technical mediation
  • cybercrime
  • IR-95269
  • EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP7/2007-2013
  • Actor-Network Theory
  • Botnets
  • METIS-312526
  • cyborg crime

Cite this

van der Wagen, Wytske; Pieters, Wolter / From Cybercrime to Cyborg Crime: Botnets as Hybrid Criminal Actor-Networks.

In: British journal of criminology, Vol. 55, No. 2, 06.03.2015, p. 1-18.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

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title = "From Cybercrime to Cyborg Crime: Botnets as Hybrid Criminal Actor-Networks",
abstract = "Botnets, networks of infected computers controlled by a commander, increasingly play a role in a broad range of cybercrimes. Although often studied from technological perspectives, a criminological perspective could elucidate the organizational structure of botnets and how to counteract them. Botnets, however, pose new challenges for the rather anthropocentric theoretical repertoire of criminology, as they are neither fully human nor completely machine driven. We use Actor-Network Theory (ANT) to provide a symmetrical perspective on human and non-human agency in hybrid cybercriminal networks and analyze a botnet case from this perspective. We conclude that an ANT lens is particularly suitable for shedding light on the hybrid and intertwined offending, victimization and defending processes, leading to the new concept of ‘cyborg crime'.",
keywords = "EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP7/318003, EWI-25874, agency, technical mediation, cybercrime, IR-95269, EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP7/2007-2013, Actor-Network Theory, Botnets, METIS-312526, cyborg crime",
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From Cybercrime to Cyborg Crime: Botnets as Hybrid Criminal Actor-Networks. / van der Wagen, Wytske; Pieters, Wolter.

In: British journal of criminology, Vol. 55, No. 2, 06.03.2015, p. 1-18.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - From Cybercrime to Cyborg Crime: Botnets as Hybrid Criminal Actor-Networks

AU - van der Wagen,Wytske

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AB - Botnets, networks of infected computers controlled by a commander, increasingly play a role in a broad range of cybercrimes. Although often studied from technological perspectives, a criminological perspective could elucidate the organizational structure of botnets and how to counteract them. Botnets, however, pose new challenges for the rather anthropocentric theoretical repertoire of criminology, as they are neither fully human nor completely machine driven. We use Actor-Network Theory (ANT) to provide a symmetrical perspective on human and non-human agency in hybrid cybercriminal networks and analyze a botnet case from this perspective. We conclude that an ANT lens is particularly suitable for shedding light on the hybrid and intertwined offending, victimization and defending processes, leading to the new concept of ‘cyborg crime'.

KW - EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP7/318003

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