Predictive Models in Cybercrime Investigation: An Application of Data Mining Techniques

Predictive Models in Cybercrime Investigation: An Application of Data Mining Techniques

A. S. N. Murthy (Indian Police Service, Karnataka, India), Vishnuprasad Nagadevara (Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India) and Rahul De' (Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India)
DOI: 10.4018/jisss.2010070101
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With increased access to computers across the world, cybercrime is becoming a major challenge to law enforcement agencies. Cybercrime investigation in India is in its infancy and there has been limited success in prosecuting the offenders; therefore, a need to understand and strengthen the existing investigation methods and systems for controlling cybercrimes is greatly needed. This study identifies important factors that will enable law enforcement agencies to reach the first step in effective prosecution, namely charge-sheeting of the cybercrime cases. Data on 300 cybercrime cases covering a number of demographic, technical and other variables related to cybercrime was analyzed using data mining techniques to identify and prioritize various factors leading to filing of the charge-sheet. These factors and the respective priority rankings are used to suggest various policy measures for improving the success rate of prosecution of cybercrimes.
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With the growing penetration of the Internet and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in countries around the world, and, in particular, in developing countries, it is expected that along with the benefits that accrue there will also be problems. These problems have to do with both the technology as well as the use of the technology. Criminal and mischievous elements around the world are intent on using or abusing the open facilities of the ICT technologies for their benefit or entertainment. The central problem of law enforcement and regulations is to establish the framework within which abuses with and through the use of ICT is checked.

A problem of law enforcement and regulations with regard to ICT spread is that the many features and facilities of the technologies are growing and evolving. Few still know all the possible ways in which the technologies will be used. It is clear that the Internet provides a lot of information that is beneficial, but it is not obvious as to what manner the information may be used. Law enforcement and regulatory agencies around the world are struggling to define what policies to adopt to both restrict abuse and to enhance use of ICT.

In a developing country like India, the penetration rates of the Internet and of ICT are low but growing. Table 1 shows some data on Internet and ICT penetration in India as compared to two developed countries – Sweden and USA. Though the numbers are low for India, for all the indicators, owing to the large population base, the problems of usage and enforcement are very high. For instance, the number of Internet subscribers in India is 10.36 million as on December 2007 and another 57.83 million have access to Internet through various other media (TRAI, 2008).

Table 1.
Internet and ICT penetration in India and two developed countries. Source: UN E-Government Survey, 2008.
CountryPer capita income (US $)*Internet per 100 persons**PCs per 100 persons**Mobile users per 100 persons**Landline users per 100 persons**

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