Ms. Francesca Bosco earned a law degree in International Law and was a practicing attorney for two years before joining UNICRI in 2006 as a member of the Emerging Crimes Unit.
In her role in this organization Ms. Bosco is responsible for cybercrime prevention projects, and in conjunction with key strategic partners, has developed new methodologies and strategies for researching and countering computer related crimes.
She has collaborated on different cybercrime-related projects such as the Hackers Profiling Project (HPP), SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) Security, and a multi-level training program for ICT and security professionals, lawyers, and law enforcement agencies.
Ms. Bosco also participated as speaker in various conferences and training seminars on the topic of child online pornography and has contributed to the development ITU Child Online Protection (COP) guidelines.
More recently, Ms. Bosco is researching and developing technical assistance and capacity building programs to counter the involvement of organized crime in cybercrime, as well as a methodology with which to ascertain the social and financial ramifications of cybercrime and online abuse. Furthermore, she is researching on the legal implications and future scenarios of cyberterrorism and cyber war.
She is currently a PhD candidate at University of Milan.
Cyber-Organized Crime and the Leverage of Technology
Cybercrime has become an integral part of the transnational threat landscape, thus generating the attribution of the notion organised crime to cybercriminality. In this process, bright technologies provide a new playground for cybercriminals and an insecure environment for the society.
The opportunities granted by the Internet have transformed many legitimate business ventures by streamlining their operations, by increasing the range of transactions that can be pursued, and alleviating the costs. Unfortunately, criminals have also discovered that the Internet can provide them with novel illicit business opportunities and several benefits. The "underside" of the Internet involves not only fraud, theft of service and pedophile rings, but also drug trafficking and traditional criminal organizations, who are keen on exploiting their new resources.
With illicit enterprises such as the Russian Business Network or Innovative Marketing Ukraine employing dozens or hundreds of people and grossing $150 million and $100 million USD annually, and even smaller bands of miscreants capable of causing hundreds of thousands in damages or theft of service, we simply can not afford to let organized crime as we know it today leverage the many benefits of the Internet, such as its’ ubiquity and anonymity, to further entrench their activities in our social fabric and the economic underpinnings of our society.
The exponential growth in volume of malicious software, and the widespread adaptability and affordability of cyber crime techniques pose a serious threat to the security of the society at large. This trend is boosted by an increase in our mobility that makes this transnational crime less and less traceable. Nowadays, the increase of mobility is one of the top IT security threats and future challenge. Also online organized crime is a “moving target”, and it has to be addressed jointly by the international community, through harmonized efforts at the national and international level.
A common shared view is that the growth of the threat of cybercrime has outpaced that of other cybersecurity threats. From this perspective, cybercrime constitutes a significantly more common and larger threat than many respondents recognize. Indeed, driven by the prospect of significant profits, cybercrime techniques have outpaced security models.
Today’s stunning cyber-crime trend demands a strong and bold response. This demand requires proactive countermeasures, in order to address the main key aspects of this phenomenon.
Unicri has a longstanding expertise in the field of cyber crime. Recently, Unicri has focused on organized crime, terrorism, and on the link between these offences and the use of Internet. The aim is to achieve a better understanding of the phenomenon, in order to create prevention policies and develop security research methodologies.
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