Interview with Dr Richard Overill, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, KCL

Your paper “The ‘Inverse CSI Effect’: Further Evidence from E-Crime Data” has recently been published in the International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics. Could you give us a brief overview of the topic, and your main findings?

I’m an inveterate watcher of all three CSI threads and also of NCIS, where a lot of conventional and digital forensics is shown, albeit ‘sexed-up’ for TV dramatic effect so that incontrovertible evidence is always recovered in double-quick time. This has been blamed for ‘the CSI Effect’ where US jurors in particular now expect to be presented with evidence like this because they believe what they have seen on TV. And it occurred to me to wonder, if jurors are influenced in this way, how about intending criminals, and in particular cyber criminals? If you’re a cyber criminal and you see those ‘super-cyber-sleuths’ on CSI and NCIS, how will this modify your behaviour? I suggest that you’ll either give up cyber crime as being too risky, or you’ll attempt to go ‘under the radar’ by reverting to petty cyber crime, or you’ll ‘up your game’ to stay one step ahead of the ‘super cyber sleuths’…

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