media release

Putting a spotlight on cybercrime – open house feature

May 27, 2011
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Contact:
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.4323/9017; Marianne_Meadahl@sfu.ca

 

Researchers in Simon Fraser University’s International Cybercrime Research Centre (ICRC) are developing ways to track crime in cyberspace.

Research in the centre, now established at SFU Surrey in the new Podium 2 expansion, includes studies on criminal networking online, including two major research studies for Public Safety Canada, one on the subject of cyber-fraud, says ICRC associate director Sara Smyth.

ICRC researcher Bryce Westlake is currently working with the RCMP's Integrated Child Exploitation Unit to identify child exploitation online.

Using a web-crawler program developed at the centre, researchers analyze pages for child pornography content while the web-crawler provides them with statistics on the images, videos, text, and connections to other websites that are present. 

“This allows us to formulate a score for each website that tells us how 'harmful' the website is – that is, how much content it has - which then lets us inform law enforcement officials what websites they should target and shutdown,” Westlake explains.

Westlake, who just completed his Master's degree and starts his PhD in the fall, liaises with the RCMP on the team’s progress and future plans. He’ll talk about the research at SFU Surrey’s May 28 open house, at 1:30 p.m. (rm B3310).

Meanwhile Rick Parent, a 30-year community police veteran and associate prof in SFU’s School of Criminology, will talk about the challenges of community policing at 12 noon (rm 3310).

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