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Psychological Profiling in Cybersecurity

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  • Last Updated : 14 Mar, 2022

Cyber security deals with the safety of technology on computer systems. It is a branch of computers that regulate security measures to prevent risk and threats to cause any kind of harm to the system. There are third-party invaders or intruders who carry out malicious activities of stealing private, business or organisational information for their own benefit/ gains.

Knowing about who are the intruders that carry out this activity and what are the motivates behind carrying out such activities will indeed help the individuals/ organisations in reducing the risk to their information.

Psychological profiling in cyber security is one such intruder identity tool that helps to gather information about the intruder. Profiling in cyber security does the job of finding the person responsible for the malicious activity by gathering the psychological traits and characteristics of the person. Through psychological profiling, it is possible to identify the behaviour/ nature/ thought process of individuals which in turn help us to find intruders and the motive of intruders.

Profiling of a cybercriminal may include several criminological and criminal-law-based key elements:

  • Personal characteristics/traits that are specific to a particular person and which predispose a person to commit a cybercrime.
  • Criminal professionalism by understanding the personality traits that contribute to safe and effective cybercrime.
  • Social characteristics define demographic features, socio-economic status, sociopsychological and moral qualities.
  • Motivation characteristics is a system of human activity orientation that prompts people to act, the activity type of cybercriminals, and the way a cybercriminal has identified or contacted the victim.

The Psychological Profiling of Cyber Criminals involve below traits:

  • Cyber Technology Professionals
    • Well versed with the knowledge of scripting.
    • Professionals who misuse the gathered knowledge.
  • Goal-oriented Individuals
    • Motivated individuals to commit malicious crimes/ fraud.
    • Their goal is to involve in stealing information/ fraud-related activities.
  • Greedy Individuals
    • Individuals always looking for monetary gains by unethically stealing data.
    • Greed for money drives individuals to get involved in fraud.
  • Manipulative Individuals
    • Individuals with Manipulating and controlling nature.
    • The power centric and controlling nature governs them to be the owner of the unethical job.
  • Risk Takers
    • Individuals with the tendency to look for situations that are risky and dangerous.
    • The thrill and risk-taking nature drive them to be the extreme risk-taking work of stealing data/ committing frauds.
  • Opportunist
    • Opportunist people looking for potential threats of which they can take advantage.
    • Individuals that don’t leave any opportunity for blackmailing by having control over the original content/ information.
  • Rule Breakers
    • Individuals who are disbelievers of law and ethical rules.
    • They don’t believe in following the laws of the right to privacy.
  • Fearless Individuals
    • Fearless tech-savvy individuals who willingly breach privacy.
    • They are not scared of the police nor from going behind the bars for their criminal behaviour.
  • Emotionless Individuals
    • Neither sympathetic nor rational thinkers would think before carrying out malicious activities.
    • Emotions and sympathy are terms that are very far away from such individuals.
  • Daring Individuals
    • Individuals with the trait of exploring daring activities.
    • They tend to challenge individuals and organisations with their hacking skills.

The motivation behind the Cyber Criminal Personality Traits:

Factors that motivate individuals and categorise them into psychological profiling of Cybercriminals:

  • Revenge: The biggest contributor to cybercrimes are individuals who want to seek revenge. Agony and arrogance take away the sensibility of individuals who are ready to commit cybercrimes as revenge.
  • Blackmailing: Cybercriminals are done with the purpose of blackmailing individuals or organisations for some demands. The demands may be emotional, political or economical gains.

Profiling and knowing about intruders/ cybercriminals can help a lot in minimising the risks involved in the security and safety of both individuals and organisations. Once, the traits and behaviours of such criminals are understood, it helps in better resolving/ analysing the cybercrime committed. So, any kind of similar cybercrime doesn’t take place in future. Psychological Profiling in cyber security is thus very important to understand the traits and personalities of cybercriminals.

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