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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M020320/1
Title: Interdisciplinary Centre for Finding, Understanding and Countering Crime in the Cloud
Principal Investigator: Anderson, Professor RJ
Other Investigators:
Deakin, Professor S Sherman, Professor LW Beresford, Dr AR
Hutchings, Dr A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Farsight Security
Department: Computer Science and Technology
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2015 Ends: 31 August 2021 Value (£): 1,975,496
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Artificial Intelligence Behavioural & experimental eco
Criminal Law & Criminology Criminology
Information & Knowledge Mgmt International Law
Networks & Distributed Systems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Financial Services Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
18 Feb 2015 Contrails Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Cambridge Interdisciplinary Centre for Crime in the Cloud (CICCC) will combine the diverse range of skills available in the Institute of Criminology, the Faculty of Law and the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. Our approach will be multidisciplinary, including researchers with expertise in computer science, criminology, cybersecurity, economics, psychology, forensics and law.

Our approach will be data driven. We have negotiated access to some very substantial datasets including large feeds of data such as spam email messages and technical information about the operation of cloud services from several major cloud providers and public bodies. Together, they will constitute the largest data resource available anywhere outside of classified systems on abuse online; we will have more, and more diverse, data than almost all service firms or law enforcement agencies, creating a unique opportunity for research to develop new tools for cloud crime detection and forensics.

We will mine and correlate these datasets to extract information about criminal activity. Our analysis will enhance our understanding of crime in the cloud, enable us to devise identifiers of such criminality, allow us to build systems to detect crime when it occurs, and ensure we collect evidence of wrongdoing to a high standard. We will work closely with law enforcement to ensure appropriate interventions can be undertaken.

Our overall objective is to create a sustainable and internationally competitive centre for academic research into cybercrime. The primary aim of the centre is to improve the security of users of cloud services, and to improve outcomes for those who would be affected by their misuse. We will develop a strong legal framework to operate in, and maintain high ethical standards in everything we do. We will incorporate this into APIs for abuse data sharing that support appropriate authentication, nonrepudiation and privacy mechanisms, and feed these back to the industry.

We aim to provide the police with an enhanced ability to search large amounts of data related to cybercrime in the cloud, improved forensics, better chain-of-custody mechanisms for evidence, additional training, and meaningful statistics on cybercrime. We have strong relationships with industry, and we will provide them with important data and insights on how, when and why criminality in the cloud occurs, thus enabling cloud providers to improve security for the users of cloud services by cracking down swiftly on abuse. We will also work closely with other academics, providing sanitised datasets to researchers generally, and enable trustworthy researchers access to our full dataset on the same basis as ourselves. This will solve the main problem faced by most academics who want to do research on cybercrime, namely the difficulty of getting access to real data on actual abuse.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk