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Examining the Pathways Into Cybercrime by Dr. Rutger Leukfeldt (NSCR)

Date of event: July 11, 2023

Hybrid Event - Online & University of Strathclyde

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Event Briefing

Dear cybercrime experts, professionals, and enthusiasts!

We invite you to join a fantastic free event “Examining the pathways into cybercrime” organised by Strathclyde Cybersecurity Group on 11 July 2023 (11:30-13:30) at University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. The precise location event’s address will be published by 5 July 2023. The maximum capacity is 50 attendees, so book your tickets fast! Ticket acquisition closes on 5 July 2023. Some refreshments will be provided.

Our guest is Dr. Rutger Leukfeldt, who is senior researcher and cybercrime cluster coordinator at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR) and academic director of the Cybersecurity Research Center of the Hague University of Applied Sciences. Over the last fifteen years, Rutger has published numerous cybercrime studies for the Dutch government and private companies. Examples include studies into the modus operandi and characteristics of cybercriminals, a nation-wide cybercrime victim survey and a study into the organization of Dutch law enforcement agencies responsible for the fight against cybercrime. His PhD-thesis was about the origin and growth processes of cybercriminal networks. In 2015, Rutger received a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship (EU grant for promising researchers) to study the changing organization of organized crime due to the use of Information Technology. In 2017, Rutger received a Veni grant (Dutch grant for highly promising researchers) to carry out a study into the online and offline pathways into cybercriminal networks. Rutger is currently the chair of the Cybercrime Working Group of the European Society of Criminology (ESC) and member of the International Interdisciplinary Research Consortium on Cybercrime (IIRCC).

Abstract: Examining the pathways into cybercrime

What are pathways into cybercrime and how does someone become involved in a cybercriminal network? Traditionally, social ties provide access to criminal networks. These involvement mechanisms rely heavily on building trust and are limited to existing ‘real-world’ social contacts such as family, friends and co-workers. ‘Offender convergence settings’ – physical locations such as cafes and bars, where criminals can meet – are used to forge contacts outside an individual’s initial social cluster. Studies into involvement mechanisms of cybercriminal networks are scarce. However, case studies clearly show that the internet provides specific offender convergence settings, such as forums where cybercriminals can meet to exchange information or make plans to commit crimes.

The first part will present the findings of interviews with Dutch hackers about their online and offline pathways into cybercrime, co-offending and desistence. Preliminary results show that the first (baby) steps in pathways into cybercrime include gaming, Google and YouTube. In the second part of this presentation, a discussion of two interventions that are currently utilised to deter starting cybercriminals will be supplied.


Strathclyde Cybersecurity Group runs this event thanks to the close ties with our partners: University of Strathclyde, SIPR and SICSA.

Event Programme

11:30 -
- Main Event

Event Speaker & Guests

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