Cybercrime is a global problem because hacking is low-cost and threat vectors are copious. Because threats originate from rogue actors, professional groups, and state-sponsored organizations, cyberdefense for multinational companies—including startups and SMBs—can be a legal morass.
The UN Cybercrime Repository was developed to promote technical assistance and strengthen international cooperation in the fight against cybercrime. The repository is the only tool in the world that archives cybercrime laws, cases, and key takeaways in a searchable database. The rapidly growing index cross-references global cybercrime incidents by topic, including global cyber investigations, requests for ISP stored traffic data, incidents of real-time traffic collection, and key takeaways.
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"The repository enables lawmakers to draw upon the database of legislation when drafting laws on cybercrime or electronic evidence," said Loide Lungameni, chief of the UNODC (UN Office on Drugs and Crime) Organized Crime Branch. "[The repository] facilitates international cooperation by helping law enforcement and prosecutors to identify cybercrime legislative provisions applicable in other [member states]."
Established in conjunction with the 2013 Comprehensive Study on Cybercrime, the database is a response to the explosion of global connectivity at "a time of economic and demographic transformations, with rising income disparities, tightened private sector spending, and reduced financial liquidity."
"Upwards of 80 percent of cybercrime acts are estimated to originate in some form of organized activity," the study determined, "with cybercrime black markets established on a cycle of malware creation, computer infection, botnet management, harvesting of personal and financial data, data sale, and 'cashing out' of financial information."
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The study ascertained that while computer crime is an established phenomenon, the growth of global connectivity is inseparably linked to modern digital crime. In other words, as the internet spreads through mobile and IoT devices, so too will hacking and criminal activity.
As a result, the repository has quickly emerged as a mission-critical platform that aids in training law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges. It also enables lawmakers to draw upon the database of legislation when drafting laws on cybercrime or electronic evidence, Lungameni said. "[The database] facilitates international cooperation by helping law enforcement and prosecutors to identify cybercrime legislative provisions applicable in other [member States]."
The index is segmented into three compartments: The Database of Legislation provides procedural documents and evidence on cybercrime from over 180 countries; The Case Law Database is an archive of jurisprudence and legal records; and Lessons Learned is a collection of best practices and effective strategies for preventing and combatting cybercrime.
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Cyber-collaboration enabled by the repository is essential, said UNODC's Chief of the Global Programme on Cybercrime Neil Walsh, because it aids capacity-building and "[enables] parliamentarians to understand the breadth, depth and complexity of legislation, international cooperation and picture-of-threat."
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Dan Patterson has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.