• Programme: Horizon 2020, Societal Challenge 7 (Secure Societies)
  • Funding amount: approx. EUR 5 million, of which are EUR 433,500 for Bavaria
  • Funding period: 05/2020–04/2023
  • Coordinator: David Wright, Trilateral Research, United Kingdom
  • Website:

Understanding cybercrime and its attraction to young people in Europe

Crime on the Internet is changing and taking on new forms. A sophisticated break into IT systems is often not necessary. In addition, the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) is greatly increasing the target area of digital infrastructures. Cybercriminals, some of whom are young people, are taking advantage of these technological changes. Younger adults and adolescents with IT skills in particular are seeing an increasing incentive to make their digital skills available for criminal activity.

Hacking tools and malware are freely available on the dark net. As a result, an increasing number of younger amateur hackers can cause great damage. This is where the EU project CC-Driver comes into play: In the fight against cybercrime, it strives to find out which human and technical factors play a role, especially among young people.

Multidisciplinary approach in the fields of psychology, crime, anthropology, neurobiology and cyberpsychology

The project consortium, consisting of 13 European partners, is initially investigating the triggers for new forms of cybercrime. Individual perpetrators, organised groups or young people who are often not even aware of the consequences of their actions are driven by a wide variety of motives. These include greed, idealism, curiosity, the search for thrills or the desire to inflict harm on others. CC-DRIVER takes a multidisciplinary approach in the fields of psychology, criminology, anthropology, neurobiology and cyberpsychology to identify and explain the motivations of new forms of crime. The project also examines “cybercrime-as-a-service” offerings that allow criminals without IT skills to purchase suitable technologies on the web.

Specific measures to combat cybercrime

The project partners then want to translate their study results into specific actions that policy makers, businesses, parents and other stakeholders can use as tools to combat cybercrime more effectively. With the help of online questionnaires, checklists or toolkits, for example, targeted prevention campaigns are to be implemented throughout Europe. These measures are intended to help curb crime on the web, to raise awareness of the issue among young people and to discourage them from pursuing a criminal career.


"Together with BayFOR, we first screened the project outline provided to us with regard to the quality and scope of the proposal, as well as the selection of the consortium partners required to implement the project idea successfully. BayFOR then assisted us in finalising the application and provided ad hoc support in the final phase on rather technical-administrative issues like budgeting and submission."

Dr Holger Nitsch
University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration and Legal Affairs in Bavaria – Police Affairs
Phone: +49 (0)8141 408-208

Contact at BayFOR

Dr. Alexander Widmann

Dr. Alexander Christian Widmann
Scientific Officer Socio-economic Sciences & Humanities | Security
Phone: +49 89 9901888-162

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