Research on the criminological side of system trespassing (i.e. unlawfully gaining access to a computer system) has been relatively rare and is yet to thoroughly examine the effect of the presence of other users on the system during the trespassing event (i.e. the time of communication between the trespasser’s system and the infiltrated system). The presented poster outlines a set of preliminary analyses of the relationship between guardianship on a target system and repeated access of trespassers on these systems. As a part of a broader partnership between Dr. David Maimon and Dr. Michel Cukier to investigate cyber offending using honeypot computers, data were collected from a randomized control trial of target computers deployed on the Internet network of a large U.S. university.
The analyses discussed in Michael Becker's poster examined whether the number and type of computer users simulated on each system reduced recidivism by trespassers on targeted systems. The initial results suggest that neither the number, nor type (i.e. administrative vs. non-administrative) of simulated users produced a deterrent effect on the number of trespassing events per trespasser IP address. As the title suggests and would be predicted by Routine Activity Theory, the mere presence of administrative users on a targeted system appears to be insufficient to deter. Moving forward, research in this area will seek to further explore the capacity of more active guardians and consider further application of this theory to guiding the study of trespassing in the cyber realm.