Forecasting Developments in Crime and Terrorism

Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Kacper Gradon, and I will introduce the notion of the so-called future crimes in relation to the practices of the law enforcement and intelligence services.

For the purpose of my work, I’ll call the internet and related modern technologies the new battlefield where two sides of the struggle, the criminals on the one side and law enforcement on the other fight and compete for domination.

The reason for the use or abuse of technology is quite simple. It’s a multi-purpose tool that is easy to use and inexpensive and enables maintaining a high degree of anonymity while reaching global goals. Additionally, due to generational changes, the so-called digital natives, new generations of offenders highly skilled with modern technologies will be entering criminal market in the near future.

We can see a sudden shift in trends from the traditional notion of cyber crime to abusing technology with the effects in real life circumstances, from the preparation stage, until the completion of the crime, and the so-called future crimes deal with all aspects of criminal behavior from “regular” crime to organized crime, terrorist, violent extremism up to cyber warfare.

One of the things to look at is the Open Source Intelligence based attacks where the victim selection and monitoring or target selection is done online using various sources of information. One of the interesting new developments is the abuse of wearable technology to profile victims. One of the interesting cases is the recent Strava data abuse that was used to disclose the location of American military bases abroad.

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We can see recently that also the so-called pet wearables are used to track the victims or the human victims or their whereabouts. And generally speaking, social media information is most frequently used for by the criminals in cases like child grooming, child pornography, cases of human trafficking, also to groom and profile potential violent extremists.

This is a quite well-known problem, but due to the decreasing price of 3D printing technologies, we can expect such crimes to be on the rise in the near future for the printing abuse, as well as the attacks on the Internet of Things, either the specific devices owned by specific people or the whole networks of IoT enabled devices, including the medical devices, which pose quite a substantial threat nowadays.

In the near future in our analysis we also covered the potential abuse of autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles used as weapons or roadblocks or even kidnapping devices, as well as the use of various types of drones for surveillance, as weapons for the delivery of drugs or for the disruption of air traffic control systems.

Military robots might seem to be a distant future, but the technology is getting cheaper so we might brace ourselves for potential abuse of such technology in the future.

The next notion is cyber warfare with the specific stress put on this sort of information and misinformation used by rogue governments to attack democracies as in the cases of US presidential elections, meddling the Brexit or the whole armies of trolls, either humans or bots that are used to destroy the social fabrics of the societies. The artificial intelligence is a whole new chapter and the same goes with blockchain or cryptocurrency abuse used by the criminals worldwide for various reasons and objectives.

New horizons that we can expect in the criminal market will be the abuse of emerging technologies, such as quantum computing and the technologies that are entering the market such as 5G telecom networks that will provide increased capabilities for the criminal offenders or terrorists.

So to summarize, those technologies make up these so-called “sum of all fears”, something that we need to get ready for. If you have any questions, please reach me on email. Thank you very much. And goodbye.

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