Profiling hackers: Who are cyber-criminals?

March 26, 2014
Profiling Hackers: Who are cyber-criminals?
Dr. Sabina Burton

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville College of Liberal Arts and Education will host its last faculty forum of the spring semester, “Profiling Hackers: Who are the Cyber-Criminals?” on Thursday, April 3, from 5-6:30 p.m. in Lundeen Lecture Hall, 103 Doudna Hall, UW-Platteville. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Sabina Burton, associate professor in the department of criminal justice at UW-Platteville, will be presenting. Burton teaches courses in police function, women and the law, comparative criminal justice systems and cybercrime, a graduate course.

Burton will discuss the relationship between technology and crime and how to apply the behavioral science of criminal profiling to the world of Internet predators. She will also address questions regarding hackers and the motives behind viruses, worms, phishing and pharming.

“Interpol has identified cybercrime as one of the fastest growing areas of crime and James Comey, FBI’s new director, stated last month in San Francisco that he is making thwarting online crime the major focus of his agency in the coming decade,” said Burton. “In the past, cybercrime has been committed by individuals or small groups of individuals. We are now seeing an emerging trend with traditional organized crime syndicates and criminally-minded technology professionals working together and pooling their resources and expertise. Understanding the mindsets of the people behind these illegal operations has become more important than ever.”

“Everyone who uses computers or the Internet is vulnerable to cybercrime,” added Burton. “By attending this presentation, students, staff, faculty and community members will gain a basic understanding of cybercrime and some techniques used in catching and prosecuting cyber criminals.”

Following Burton’s presentation, Todd Carothers, M.B.A., C.P.A., assistant professor in the School of Business at UW-Platteville, will respond by exploring the business impacts of hacking and cybercrime and examining the fragile nature of earnings amid disclosure of a data breach as well as the costs of hacking on businesses. He will also discuss how businesses are contributing to the problem by possessing an overload of information that is available in their databases.

A 30-minute question and answer period will follow Carothers’ response. Refreshments will be served.

Contact: Dr. Sabina Burton, department of criminal justice, (608) 342-1650,

Written by: Jena Garrett, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191,


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