The Social Organization of a Criminal Hacker Network: A Case Study

The Social Organization of a Criminal Hacker Network: A Case Study

Yong Lu (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/jisp.2009040107


Financial fraud and identity theft conducted by criminal hackers have become the top source of the greatest financial losses for organizations. Even though Hacker groups are complex socio-technical systems, much extant research on hackers is conducted at the individual level of analysis. This research proposes a research model composed of five dimensions and their relations in order to study hacker’s social organization in the whole socio-technical context. Based on this model, the researcher applies network analysis methods to disclose the structure and patterns of a significant and complex hacker group, Shadow crew. Network analysis tools, such as Automap and ORA, are applied for data processing and data analysis. Three network measures: degree centrality, cognitive demand, and eigenvector centrality, are utilized to determine the critical leaders. Out-degree centrality is employed to analyze the relations among the five dimensions in the research model.

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