Innovation in cybercrime measurement: perspectives from the Asia-Pacific region

Mr Guilherme Miranda Dutra1, Mr Mingyu Kim2

1Unodc – United Nations Office On Drugs And Crime, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
2Davidson College, Davidson, United States of America

With nearly half of the global Internet user population located in Asia-Pacific, cybercrime victimization is an emerging challenge that is particularly concerning for the region. While advancements in the dissemination of information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been beneficial in many ways, increasing user reliance on ICTs to store and exchange personal, sensitive or critical information has created a lucrative market for cybercrime. Cybercrime is a complex ever-evolving phenomena with dynamics still insufficiently understood and characterized by constant new developments, such as darknet marketplaces, the increasing use of cryptocurrencies for anonymized transactions in illegal online markets, and supply chain attacks that affect downstream customers at a massive scale. Yet, cybercrime data collection efforts are underprioritized in the Asia-Pacific region, with many countries lagging behind in the adoption of innovative methods and in resolving fundamental data collection challenges, such as inadequate procedures that introduce measurement bias and low reporting rates.

To produce reliable data that is useful for informing effective evidence-based policies to address cybercrime, a double effort is necessary: from the policy side, investment in data collection must become a priority for decision-makers, as well as the establishment of a conducive environment for innovation and exchange of information at the international level. From the technical side, technological resources available in the region must be leveraged for innovation, harmonized methodologies that ensure comparability across jurisdictions should be developed, and traditional criminological research methods and investigatory strategies need to be adapted.

This paper examines the current trends in cybercrime in the Asia-Pacific region, reviews existing domestic and international efforts for measuring cybercrime, and analyzes specific data collection methods, data sources, and best regional and international practices, with examples that can be adopted by countries and researchers in the region.


Guilherme Miranda Dutra is the Methodology Officer of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Statistics Korea (KOSTAT) Centre of Excellence for Statistics on Crime and Criminal Justice in Asia and the Pacific, based in Daejeon, Republic of Korea. He has experience in applied social research and analysis of crime and armed conflict data in assignments with the United Nations and International NGOs in Latin America, Europe and Asia. He holds a Master’s in Law jointly awarded by LUISS Guido Carli Rome, Universidad Complutense de Madrid and IALS – University of London.

Mingyu Kim is an undergraduate student in his senior year at Davidson College majoring in Computer Science and Political Science. He has previously carried out research on cybercrime and innovative crime data collection methods as a Research Intern at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Statistics Korea (KOSTAT) Centre of Excellence for Statistics on Crime and Criminal Justice in Asia and the Pacific.


Aug 30 2021


8:00 am - 6:00 pm