01/01/2017 to 31/12/2019

Ransomware is a particular type of malware, and a new crime of extortion committed online. Malicious software gets installed through a phishing email or a drive-by download on a website. When it runs, it performs an action such as the encryption of the user's files, and asks a ransom for this action to be undone. The victim is coerced into paying through psychological manipulations which sometimes masquerade as advice. Due to the subtle ways that the technological aspects of the crime blend with - and are exploited through - various human dimensions, it has profound economic, psychological and societal impacts upon its victims, which makes its eradication all the more complicated. Law Enforcement Agencies have estimated that losses to criminals using ransomware are many millions of pounds, but the true costs may never be known because victims have shown to be particularly reluctant to report.
This project sets out to answer the following questions: Why is ransomware so effective as a crime and why are so many people falling victim to it?Who is carrying out ransomware attacks?
How can police agencies be assisted?
What interventions are required to mitigate the impacts of ransomware?
In order to do so, the project gathers data from Law Enforcement Agencies (which have agreed to closely collaborate with the project), through surveys of the general public and SMEs, and through interviews with stakeholders. The data will be analysed using script analysis, behavioural analysis, and other profiling techniques, leading to narratives regarding the criminals, the victims, and the typical ransomware scenario. Economical and behavioural models of ransomware will then be constructed and used to improve ransomware mitigation and advice, as well as support for law enforcement.

Sunday, 10 December, 2017 to Tuesday, 31 December, 2019

Project type:


EU to strenghten its expertise in cybersecurity research, technology and industrial developmen

Europe is stepping up its protection against cybersecurity threats, and is discussing a new structure of pool of expertise which will help secure the digital single market and increase the EU’s autonomy in the area of cybersecurity.

Europe is currently working on the establishment of a top knowledge base for cybersecurity and a network of national cybersecurity coordination centres called the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Centre and the Network of National Coordination Centres.

Future Events

Cyber Insurance and its Contribution to Cyber Risk Mitigation - Leiden March 25-29
25/03/2019 to 29/03/2019

The rise in both the scale and severity of recent cyberattacks demands new thinking about cybersecurity risk and the mitigation and transfer of that risk. Cyber insurance is one potential way to manage risk by transferring damage liability, but the cyber insurance market is immature and the understanding and actuarial knowledge of cyber-risk is currently underdeveloped.

e-SIDES workshop 2019

e-SIDES workshop: Towards Value-Centric Big Data: Connect People, Processes and Technology


2 April 2019

10am to 4pm


e-SIDES is a research project funded by European Commission H2020 Programme that deals with the ethical, legal, social and economic implications of privacy-preserving technologies in different big data context.