University of Twente Student Theses


So long and thanks for all the (big) fish : exploring cybercrime in Dutch Telegram groups

Boersma, Kitty (2023) So long and thanks for all the (big) fish : exploring cybercrime in Dutch Telegram groups.

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Abstract:According to prominent law enforcement agencies and cyber security organisations around the world, cybercrime on social media is a growing problem. This work ad- dresses the issue by contributing to a deeper understanding of Telegram as a cybercrime platform. We propose a method for data collection and preprocessing, and create a dataset containing the messages and users of public Dutch Telegram groups used for cybercrime. The dataset is used to create holistic profiles of the Telegram groups and discover relations between them using new and existing approaches. The resulting highly connected mention network suggests that the collective network should be seen as a professionally used cybercrime platform, transcending the perception of isolated groups. Additionally, this work introduces a novel approach for identifying relations between active users through overlap in sent advertisements, revealing that multiple user accounts are likely managed by the same (groups of) individuals. Building upon these findings and leveraging related work, we successfully identify influential Telegram groups and users, the so-called big fish. Overall, this study evaluates the Dutch cybercrime landscape on Telegram, while enhancing our understanding of Telegram as a cybercrime platform through the implementation of novel profiling techniques and the identification of interconnected relationships.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
TNO, Den Haag, Netherlands
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Computer Science MSc (60300)
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