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The Australian National University

ANU Cybercrime Observatory

  • The ANU Cybercrime Observatory is dedicated to empirical based cybercrime research. Our mission is to monitor, identify and analyse trends from electronic data collected from the Internet and acquired through government partners. Examples of what we do include 'big data' analysis of botnet traffic and spam, covert investigations of underground online hacking discussion forums, and unraveling how infectious software and tools are used by criminals. The central goal is to identify patterns of crime to better understand the crime causation process and the social dynamics of Internet based crime. In line with the strategic research priorities of Australia, the research endeavours to assist in improving cybersecurity for Australians including individuals, businesses and government.

    The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) describes observatories as "... permanent mechanisms for collating and assessing information on crime and related problems ..." (Handbook on the Crime Prevention Guidelines: Making them work, 2010, pg.59). The International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC) notes observatories can take different forms and are contingent on the type of associated organisations, which comprise the private sector, government, and independent research institutions. The ANU Cybercrime Observatory operates as an independent non-profit leveraging data sharing partnerships with governmental agencies.

    Our approach is unique. We are the only established group in Australia undergoing cross-disciplinary cybercrime research. We draw from areas of expertise such as criminology, law, regulatory theory, data mining, information security, and computer science. Findings and results are underpinned by direct and indirect observation and experience. The majority of our investigations are framed within the discipline of crime, criminology and crime prevention.

    The Observatory was developed with the assistance of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project grant and a Criminology Research Council (CRC) grant. In 2012, the ANU Cybercrime Observatory was established and co-founded by Professor Roderic Broadhurst, Dr Mamoun Alazab and Steve Chon. The Observatory is currently supervised by Professor Roderic Broadhurst with Professor Peter Grabosky as an expert advisor.

    The ANU Cybercrime Observatory welcomes expressions of interest from researchers, visitors and students for short-term visits or to commence studies.

    We are seeking:

    • • applicants interested in commencing a PhD in cybercrime
    • • visiting postdoc researchers, PhD candidates and masters students
    • • cybercrime practitioners working in the field, including law enforcement
    • • industry professionals interested in academic research

    If you have a background in one of the areas, but not limited to, criminology, sociology, policing, law, applied statistics, computer science, data mining or online research methods, please contact us at:

Updated:  14 January, 2013/Responsible Officer:  Director, Regulatory Institutions Network/Page Contact:  Director, Regulatory Institutions Network