ACE Seminar: Cybercrime in the sky

Speaker: Alice Hutchings

Date/Time: 16-Nov-2017, 16:00 UTC

Venue: Roberts 508



Every day, hundreds of people fly on airline tickets that have been obtained fraudulently. I will provide an overview of the trade in these tickets, drawing on interviews with industry and law enforcement, and an analysis of an online blackmarket. Tickets are purchased by complicit travellers or resellers from the online blackmarket. Victim travellers obtain tickets from fake travel agencies or malicious insiders. Compromised credit cards used to be the main method to purchase tickets illegitimately. However, as fraud detection systems improved, offenders displaced to other methods, including compromised loyalty point accounts, phishing, and compromised business accounts. In addition to complicit and victim travellers, fraudulently obtained tickets are used for transporting mules, and for trafficking and smuggling. I will outline current prevention approaches, and suggest additional interventions, aimed at the act, the actor, and the marketplace.


Dr Alice Hutchings is a Senior Research Associate at the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge. A criminologist, her research interests include understanding cybercrime offenders, and the prevention and disruption of online crime. She is a researcher in the Cambridge Cybercrime Centre, an interdisciplinary initiative combining expertise from the University of Cambridge's Computer Laboratory, Institute of Criminology, and Faculty of Law.

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