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Cybercrime 2025 and Beyond


San Francisco was host to WorldFuture 2015 earlier this month. With around 700 attendees and professional futurists from all over the globe, it remains the world’s oldest and best known futures conference.

On Saturday, the conference’s first full day, I had the opportunity to give my session, “Cybercrime 2025 and Beyond” to a full house and it seemed very well received. I chose to take a little different tack with this talk and explored the development of cybercrime and the search for its solutions as part of the ongoing coevolution between humanity and technology. I ended with a call for building a biologically-inspired cyber-immune system that could protect not only our future digital assets, but potentially our physical infrastructure as well. While there is research being done in this area, there isn’t a focused program for bringing it to fruition. Yet.

Given the growing threat of cybercrime in recent years, it’s no surprise there were several speakers at the conference who addressed the subject. “Future Crimes” author, Marc Goodman opened the morning with an excellent talk that drew from the wide range of topics he covers in his new book. Later in the afternoon, Roey Tzezana, a nanotechnology scientist and futurist from the University of Tel Aviv spoke about his team’s cybercrime forecast model which looks at the threat profiles that are generated when different technologies are combined. Fascinating stuff.

Cybercrime in Scientific American


My new article for Scientific American explores the rising threat of cybercrime, including the near-term potential for the world’s first “online murder.” By this, I don’t mean streaming a video of someone’s death – as horrific as that is – but rather the remote manipulation of data to assassinate a specifically targeted victim.

The forecast that spurred me to write about this was included in a recent report from Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre. As awful as this internet milestone would be, I’m of the opinion there are considerably bigger threats in store for us due to recent changes in the business models many of these criminals are using.

According to the report, the underground economy has been developing a “Crime-as-a-Service” (CaaS) business model in which skilled specialists create a wide range of products and services. These cover many different forms of criminal activity and are allowing those with few technical resources to readily enter into the world of cybercrime. Unfortunately for most of us, this wasn’t a bar that needed to be lowered.”

Press release: Intelligent Future Cybercrime Article in Scientific American

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