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Cybercriminals are an excellent example of a hidden population. To study them is a significant methodological challenge. But there is also a theoretical challenge: what is the relevance of a seemingly niche population to broader sociology? This talk addresses both of these challenges, by tracing the development of a line of my scholarly inquiry: the economic sociology of cybercrime. It includes three elements: 1) my entry into the field of cybercrime research with my fieldwork on organisation, cooperation and governance (Lusthaus, Industry of Anonymity, 2018); 2) insights from data collection involving 10 case analyses on closed cybercrime investigations; 3) the detailed analysis of specific case studies with the application of relevant theory from the economic sociology subfield.
Dr Jonathan Lusthaus is Director of The Human Cybercriminal Project and an Associate Professor in Global Sociology in the Department of Sociology. He is also a Research Fellow at Nuffield College, and an Adjunct Associate Professor at UNSW Canberra Cyber. Jonathan’s research focuses on the “human” side of profit-driven cybercrime: who cybercriminals are and how they are organised.