Criminal technological innovation

08th of June 2022

Cybercriminals are constantly innovating: while technological progress has brought significant advances for civilization, it has also led to a significant expansion of the surface available for criminal activities. Moreover, innovating without legal or ethical criteria allows criminals to exploit vulnerabilities and design deceptions to confuse both humans and tools trough social engineering techniques or behavioral simulation. It is in this context that "Crime-as-a-Service" has emerged as an environment for the exchange of (cyber)criminal services, which has proven to be highly profitable.

We identify four dimensions from which we can analyze the main criminal innovations known nowadays: the exploitation of technological advances -the use of 3D printers to quickly generate keys, for example-, the boost of organized crime markets -among which we find cryptomarkets or the improvement in the methods of production and transportation of drugs-, the optimization of terrorist attacks - handling drones to load explosives and carry out attacks and assaults, among others -, and finally the hacking of mind - finding techniques such as phishing, vishing, the use of deepfakes or the use of social networks for recruitment purposes -. In addition, advances in areas such as quantum computing or NGB (Next Generation Bioprinting) could generate an important qualitative leap in criminal technological innovation, with highly sophisticated and yet unknown modus operandi.

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