C.I.B.R. Lab

The Cybercrime Interdisciplinary Behavioral Research Laboratory (C.I.B.R. Lab) is housed within the Department of Criminology at the University of South Florida. It aims is to foster a collaborative research environment for faculty, staff, and students.

The study of cybercrime involves understanding human behavior and its interaction with technology and networked communications in the commission of a crime, harmful acts, and deviant behavior. Cybercriminology is a growing sub-discipline that investigates various elements of crimes committed through the use of networked computing devices, including the following:

  • Internet crimes against children
  • Fraud
  • Hacking
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Money laundering
  • Dissemination of hate speech and disinformation

The C.I.B.R. Lab is focused on the study of both the motivations and methods of offenders, as well as the impact to their victims and its implications. The lab offers public and private organizations, including local police, state and federal agencies, technology firms, and cybersecurity professionals, assistance in addressing the problem through identifying and promoting evidence-based practices in mitigating cybercrime. The C.I.B.R. Lab is committed to the promotion of victim resilience and to mitigating repeat victimization through information sharing and prevention tools.

C.I.B.R. Lab projects:

Cybercrime victimization during the pandemic

In this project, researchers surveyed Floridians about their general online behaviors and their experiences with online fraud during the pandemic in 2020. You can read the report on the findings here: Online Victimization during COVID-19. The team continues to analyze the data from the survey with a goal of modeling the correlates of online victimization with economic and social pressures caused by the pandemic, especially given that most social interactions had to be done virtually.

Disrupting the identity theft supply chain

Integrating both a theoretical rationale (i.e., rational choice models) and practical approaches for data collection, the interdisciplinary research team seeks to better understand the online identity theft supply chain by enhancing data collection skills on victim identities from encrypted communication platforms; developing effective communication strategies to alert victims of past, current, and ongoing threats against them; and interviewing active identity theft offenders to better understand their modus operandi, the identity theft supply chain, and the full scope of online identity theft.

After determining the most effective notification method for alerting victims, automated tools will be developed and employed to systematically gather actionable threat intelligence pertaining to identity theft victimization from encrypted online platforms. Identified identity theft victims will then be notified of threats against them and directed to report past victimization experiences, mitigate current threats against them, and prevent future victimization from occurring. Notified victims will be directed to an educational website, which warns of the dangers associated with identity theft and provides guidance on how to report, mitigate, and prevent victimization. Finally, the efficacy of the notification and education system will be assessed using survey-based and experimental research designs.