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Cybercriminology Lab

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In the Cybercriminology Lab, our goals are to build a systematic, longitudinal database for collecting cybercrime offending and victimization data. In doing so, we are addressing three critical shortcomings related to cybercrime and cybersecurity:

  • First, by collecting large datasets, we have a better understanding of the extent of cybercrime nationwide. While other efforts focus on one specific crime (e.g., The National Crime Victimization’s Identity Theft Supplement) or self-report data (e.g., IC3), our data include targeted survey samples across comprehensive cybercrime activity. 
  • Second, by focusing on the nature of the crime through individuals rather than technology, we are to understand the nature of cybercrime, cyber-offenders, and cybervictims.  By building on decades of criminological research on street crime, our surveys help us see the holistic nature of cybercrime.
  • Finally, our data allow us to inform and evaluate potential community-based intervention and prevention efforts. 

Parti, K., Dearden, T., & Hawdon, J. (2023). Understanding the Overlap of Online Offending and Victimization: Using Cluster Analysis to Examine Group Differences. In C. Marcum & S. Clevenger (eds.) The Link between Specific Forms of Online and Offline Victimization: A Collaboration Between the ASC Division of Victimology and Division of Cybercrime, London: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003429678-7

Dearden, T., Parti, K., Hawdon, J., Gainey, R., Vandecar-Burdin, T., & Albanese, J. (2023). Differentiating insider and outsider cyberattacks on businesses. American Journal of Criminal Justice. Advance online publication.

Costello, Matthew, James Hawdon, Ashley Reichelmann, Atte Oksanen, Catherine Blaya, Vicente Llorent, Pekka Räsänen, Izabela Zych. 2023. “Defending Others Online: The Influence of Observing Formal and Informal Social Control on One’s Willingness to Defend Cyberhate Victims.” International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 20(15): 6506   

Hawdon, J., Parti, K., & Dearden, T. (2022). Changes in Online Illegal Drug Buying during COVID-19: Assessing Effects due to a Changing Market or Changes in Strain using a Longitudinal Sample Design. American Journal of Criminal Justice. doi:10.1007/s12103-022-09698-1

Hawdon, James. Ashley Reichelmann, and Matthew Costello. 2022. “Riding the Cyberwaves: The Ebbs and Flows of Internet Cyberhate.” Pp. 1-15 in R Baikady, S Sajid, V. Nadesan, J. Przeperski, M.R. Islam, and J Gao (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Global Social Change. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Hawdon, James and Matthew Costello. 2022. “Confronting Online Extremism: Strategies, Promises, and Pitfalls.” Pp. 469-489 in Barbara Perry, Jeff Gruenwald, and Ryan Scrivens (Eds.) Far-right extremism in Canada and the United States. Palgrave. 

Parti, K., Dearden, T., & Hawdon, J. (2022). Understanding the overlap of online offending and victimization: Using cluster analysis to examine group differences. Victims & Offenders, 17(5), 712-734,

Parti, K., Dearden, T., & Hawdon, J. (2022). Az amerikai lakosság cyberviktimizációja, különös tekintettel a COVID-19 hatására [Cyber victimization of the American population with special regard to COVID-19 induced lockdowns]. Kriminológiai Közlemények [Reviews in Criminology], 2022(82), 129-140.

Costello, Matthew, Ashley Reichelmann, and James Hawdon. 2022. “Utilizing  Criminological Theories to Predict Involvement in Cyberviolence among the iGeneration” Sociological Spectrum 42(4-6): 260-277. DOI: 10.1080/02732173.2022.2105767

Celuch, Magdalena, Atte Oksanen, Pekka Räsänen, Matthew Costello, Catherine Blaya, Isabella Zych, I., Vincente Llorent, Ashley Reichelmann, and James Hawdon. 2022.  “Factors Associated with Online Hate Acceptance: A Cross-National Six-Country Study among Young Adults.” International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 19(1), 534.  

Bernatzky, Colin, Matthew Costello, and James Hawdon. 2022. “Who Produces Online Hate?: An Examination of the Effects of Self-Control, Social Structure, and Social Learning.” American Journal of Criminal Justice. 47(3): 421-440.

Dearden, T. & Parti, K. (2021). Cybercrime, differential association and self-control: Knowledge transmission through online social learning. American Journal of Criminal Justice.

Perdue, Robert Todd. 2021. “Who Needs the Dark Web?: Exploring the Trade in Critically Endangered Plants on eBay.” American Journal of Criminal Justice 46(6), 1006-1017.

Perdue, Robert Todd and James Hawdon. 2021. “Predicting the Emergence of Novel Psychoactive Substances with Big Data.” In, Big Data in Psychiatry and Neurology. Edited by Ahmed Moustafa. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Costello, Matthew, Salvatore J. Restifo, and James Hawdon. 2021. Viewing Anti-Immigrant Hate Online: An Application of Routine Activity and Social Structure Social Learning Theory. Computers in Human Behavior, 124,

Hawdon, James. 2021. “Cybercrime: Victimization, Perpetration, and Techniques.” American Journal of Criminal Justice, 46 (6): 837- 842.

Reichelmann, Ashley, James Hawdon, Matthew Costello, John Ryan, Catherine Blaya, Vicente  Llorent, Atte Oksanen, Pekka Räsänen, and Izabela Zych. 2021. “Hate Knows No Boundaries:  Online Hate in Six Nations.”  Deviant Behavior, 42:9, 1100-1111.

Hawdon, James and Matthew Costello. 2021.  “Learning to Hate: Explaining Participation in Online Extremism.” Pp. 167-182 in Derek Silva and Mathieu Deflem (eds.) Radicalization and Counter-Radicalization. (Sociology of Crime, Law, and Deviance, vol. 25). Emerald Publishing Limited.

Phadke, Shruti, Jessie Seiler, Tanushree Mitra, Kiran Garimella, Matthew Costello, and James Hawdon. 2021. “Addressing Challenges and Opportunities in Online Extremism Research: An Interdisciplinary Perspective.” Companion Publication of the 2021 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, pp. 356-359.  

Dearden, T., Parti, K., & Hawdon, J. (2020). Institutional anomie theory and cybercrime – Crime and the American dream, now available online, Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice.

Hawdon, J., Parti, K., Dearden, T. (2020). Cybercrime in America amid COVID-19. The initial results from a natural experiment. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 45, 546–562.

Perdue, Robert Todd and James Hawdon. 2019. “Gateway or Cul de Sac? Using Big Data to Assess Legal Recreational Marijuana and Changes in the Use of ‘Hard’ Drugs.” Sociation18(2), 20-28.

Perdue, Robert Todd, James Hawdon and Kelly M. Thames. 2018. “Can Big Data Predict the Rise of Novel Drug Abuse?” Journal of Drug Issues 48(4): 508-518.



  • Online Hate in a Cross-national Setting. Ongoing study of online hate and extremism in Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Spain, The United Kingdom, and The United States.  Data has been collected annually in the U.S. since 2013, multiple times in Finland and the United Kingdom, and at least once in France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Spain.
  • Cybercrime in America. Data on cybercrime perpetration and victimization collected at multiple timepoints. Datasets include once collected pre-COVID-19 pandemic, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and post-pandemic.
  • Cybercrime from a Cross-National Perspective. Data on cybercrime perpetration and victimization from Finland, Hungary, and the U.S.
  • Cybercrime in Virginia.  Data collected from a sample of Virginia residents and businesses investigating the extent to which they have experienced cybercrime victimization, the harms associated with any victimization, if they reported any victimization, and the actions they take to protect from being victimized.
  • Scam Against Older Adults. Apart from a survey, observations, and focus groups, we conduct interviews in which victims can tell their experiences about how the victimization occurred, characterize the manipulation schemes used, and understand what happened after the victim realized imposture, including where they reported (if anywhere) and sought help (e.g., relatives, caregivers, IT professionals, federal agencies, etc.). Check out the project’s website:,order%20to%20prevent%20online%20scams
  • Scams Against International and First Generation Immigrant Communities. The project utilizes a community-focused, participatory action research methodology to build a support system for international and first-generation immigrant students and employees at Virginia Tech. The research team aims to investigate typical scam scenarios targeting the large international student body, their specific vulnerabilities, and current and desired support systems.   
  • Hacker Survey. A comparison of verified hackers against a representative U.S. sample on behavioral characteristics such as self-control, anxiety, and inequality perception. 
  • Cryptocurrency Scams. Data on scams and fraud in cryptocurrency, including the perceptions and impacts of cryptocurrency crimes and adoption.
  • Cyber-Enabled Environmental Crimes. Ongoing examination of the extent to which e-commerce sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace are used to trade critically endangered plants.
  • Green Cybercriminology. Manuscript in development which explores the nexus of the cyber and environmental realms. Specifically: (1) How technology can enable environmental crimes, (2) How the production of technology can lead to environmental crimes, and (3) How technologies can be used to stifle environmental crimes.
  • Corra Mariner, Virginia Tech
  • Paige Coatney, Virginia Tech
  • Jeremiah Lamberty, Virginia Tech
  • Amelia Simmons, Virginia Tech

Faculty Members of the Cybercriminology Lab

Thomas Dearden

Thomas Dearden, Assistant Professor

Whytnee Foriest

Whytnee Foriest, Instructor

James Hawdon

James Hawdon, Professor and Director of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention

Katalin Parti

Katalin Parti, Assistant Professor

Robert Perdue

Robert T. Perdue, Associate Professor