Cybercrime has long been a male-dominated field, with men often being the perpetrators of hacking, phishing, and other illegal activities online. However, recent studies have shown that women are increasingly becoming involved in cybercrime, both as active participants and as victims.
A report by cybersecurity firm TrendMicro found that while women still only make up a small percentage of cybercriminals – approximately 30% of cybercriminal forum participants are women, their numbers are on the rise. TrendMicro analyzed 10 popular cybercrime forums, including five English-language forums: Sinister, Cracked, Breached, Hackforums and Raidforum. Five more were Russian-speaking: XSS, Exploit, Vavilon, BHF and WWH-Club for the report. The report noted that women are often recruited by male cybercriminals for their ability to exploit social engineering tactics and to navigate social networks and online communities.
One reason for the increasing involvement of women in cybercrime is the rise of the dark web, which provides a platform for criminal activities that are often gender-neutral. The anonymity of the dark web makes it easier for women to participate in illegal activities without fear of being exposed or targeted.
However, the report also highlighted the fact that women are often targeted by cybercriminals for different reasons than men. For example, women are more likely to be victims of cyberstalking and online harassment, which can have serious psychological and emotional impacts.
The report suggests that gender should be taken into account when developing strategies to combat cybercrime. By understanding the motivations and tactics of both male and female cybercriminals, law enforcement agencies and cybersecurity professionals can better protect both men and women from online threats.
Additionally, efforts should be made to encourage more women to pursue careers in cybersecurity, which is currently a male-dominated field. By diversifying the industry and creating more opportunities for women, we can help to create a more balanced and effective approach to combating cybercrime.
In conclusion, while women still only make up a small percentage of cybercriminals, their involvement in the dark web and online communities is on the rise. It is important for law enforcement agencies and cybersecurity professionals to take gender into account when developing strategies to combat cybercrime, and to encourage more women to pursue careers in the field. By working together, we can create a safer and more secure online environment for everyone.