HAIC Talks: Alice Hutchings, University of Cambridge "Cybercrime in the Sky"

HAIC Talks is a series of public lectures on contemporary topics in information security.

Cybercrime in the Sky

Alice Hutchings
University of Cambridge

Description: Every day, hundreds of people fly on airline tickets that have been obtained fraudulently, and much of this is facilitated by cybercrime. I will use this example to explore cybercrime in more depth, and understand its real-world impacts.  I will explore the trade in these tickets, drawing on interviews with industry and law enforcement, and an analysis of an online blackmarket. Tickets are purchased by complicit travellers or resellers from the online blackmarket. Victim travellers obtain tickets from fake travel agencies or malicious insiders. Compromised credit cards used to be the main method to purchase tickets illegitimately. However, as fraud detection systems improved, offenders displaced to other methods, including compromised loyalty point accounts, phishing, and compromised business accounts. In addition to complicit and victim travellers, fraudulently obtained tickets are used for transporting mules, and for trafficking and smuggling. I will identify the difficulties faced by law enforcement with identifying those who are complicit in this trade. I will also outline potential interventions, aimed at the act, the actor, and the marketplace, with the goal of preventing and disrupting this crime type.

About the speaker: Alice Hutchings is a University Lecturer in the Security Group at the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge. She is also part of the Cambridge Cybercrime Centre, an interdisciplinary initiative combining expertise from computer science, criminology, and law. Specialising in cybercrime, she bridges the gap between criminology and computer science. Generally, her research interests include understanding cybercrime offenders, cybercrime events, and the prevention and disruption of online crime.

The HAIC public outreach initiative aims to make information security more accessible to a broader audience. As part of this initiative, are organizing HAIC Talks, a series of public lectures on contemporary topics in information security. In the style of studia generalia, these lectures are free and open to everyone. No background knowledge in information security is required. HAIC Talks are made possible through the generous support of the Aalto University School of Science.

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