eCrime Research Center

APWG and collaborators in the development of the eCrime Researchers Summit (eCRS) have been working toward the development of a formal research center dedicated to ecrime research, building on the success of the eCrime Researchers Summit and the community of researchers that has coalesced around it.

Though eCRS Chair Randy Vaughn of Baylor University is named Principal Investigator for the proposal in development, APWG and its collaborators envision a multi-institution collaborative research center that would spread work effort across institutions with relevant expertise, each covering an important aspect of the technical, resource and policy questions that the center will be engaging.

The research center proposal that has been organized thus far by the APWG and collaborating investigators describe a center pursuing research along three principle axes, reflecting the experience of the researchers and the larger resource deficits endured by the contemporary ecrime research community and ecrime responders in industry and in government:

OPERATIONS: Development of eCrime forensic data clearinghouses as well as data discovery and sharing platforms for the reporting, archiving, distributing and for collaborative sharing of eCrime event data, network address data and device data for technical and forensic responders and researchers.

DATA POLICY: Examination of real and apparent policy impediments in law, regulation and industrial policy that interfere with routinized exchange of data between and among private-sector eCrime responders and public agency law enforcement.

PUBLIC AND INDUSTRY EDUCATION: Research and development of warning and instructional mechanisms and approaches which are most effective in conditioning computer users to apply the most basic and effective safety and security practices, based on a public-health education model.

Thus far, the APWG, Baylor University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham have identified US federal agencies with potential to support the establishment and long-term development of such a center and begun correspondence with the National Science Foundation (NSF) pursuing an initial submission to the NSF’s University/Industry Collaborative Research Center Program.

As the process of research center development progresses, APWG and its collaborating principal investigators invite participation from researchers and industrial sponsors through its conferences, such as the eCrime Researchers Sync-Up in Dublin in March and the Fall eCRS program, and its ecrime research mailing lists. [Contact details below.]

As well, APWG and its research center development collaborators are in correspondence with industrial sponsors with an interest in the proposal. Some 17 are already on record, in fact, providing letters of interest in the initial grant submission to the NSF in 2009.

Sponsors from industry, of course, will have contemporaneous access to technologies developed in such a center and, as resources are established, direct access to continually refreshed data resources such as ecrime event data clearinghouses.

Development of many of these kinds of resources is well past due and are inevitable. Science and their correspondent industries, such as the life sciences and the pharmaceutical industry, already possess and exploit such resources as a matter of course, the most accessible being the open gene banks operated and federated in the US, Europe and Japan.

Parties with an interest in participating in this proposal can send a note to crc@apwg.org.