Objective 5: Exploring Cybercrime as a Service

This objective will explore how Cybercrime-as-a-Service (CaaS) takes online terrorist criminality to a new level and allows even those who lack the necessary technical skills to commit acts of cybercrime. With a simple click of a button, one can launch a wide-ranging cyber-attack on anyone they wish to. The potential for terrorists to make use of the CaaS for espionage and sabotage means, as well as for illegal funding opportunities presents a grace threat to European societies. Furthermore, PROPHETS will explore the relationships of profiteering, online competition and the importance of reputation and customer satisfaction amongst online illegal vendors and perpetrators of cybercriminal acts (through the implementation of living labs to assess CaaS). In particular, PROPHETS will examine how the economic and commercial success of CaaS may override traditional moral and ethical values. This objective will cover the follow topics:
  • Attempting to identify patterns or profiles in the commercialisation of CaaS. This will explore if there are shared causes and commonalities in the online personas and behaviours of successful and large-scale CaaS providers. This will consider dark web market vendors as well as other online sites providing evidence of promoting hacking, fraud, and other illicit services (Conducted through living labs for assessing CaaS; Macro, Meso and Micro levels of online behavioural analysis; Weak indicator extraction; Enhanced monitoring and situational awareness tool; and Consolidation of greater online behavioural profiling system).
  • Exploring whether there are justifications or differences between the behavioural approaches in attempting to legitimise CaaS, either as a legal, or, ought to be legal service (Conducted through living labs for assessing CaaS).
  • Collecting and analysing online evidence of recruitment campaigns for CaaS and how illegal service providers attempt to lure in new talent and workers for their operations. PROPHETS will explore how different illicit services attempt to sell their cause to potential recruits. Some examples of this may potentially be through promoting a political narrative, through financial capital, or, through peer-respect and friendship (Conducted through living labs for assessing CaaS).
  • Establishing living labs to increase collective information sharing between the public-private-LEA sectors, in framework of very diverse national legislations. These living labs will help PROPHETS research identify knowledge gaps between the perspectives understandings that each sector has with one another. These living labs may also serve to increase the resilience and empower the citizen through increasing their understanding of CaaS (Conducted through living labs assessing CaaS).