ECCU 516: The Hacker Mind: Profiling the IT Criminal

Cyber space has increased human communication, connectivity, creativity, capacity and crime by leaps and bounds in the last decades. For all of the positive aspects it offers, it offers as many negative aspects. Those negative aspects are explored and developed by everyone from the high school challenge hacker to the international terrorist. Businesses, governmental agencies, militaries, and organizations of every kind are all threatened by the cyber criminal. Understanding how each of these individuals that do or want to do harm to network systems, their motivation and thought process is a key piece of the puzzle


The evolution of cyberspace has opened the virtual door for crime and misuse. This course will familiarize and unite the science of criminal profiling with the world of hackers and cybercriminals.  The primary focus will be directed toward the offenders who commit these complicated and complex actions, but cybercrime will be introduced and examined as a criminological phenomenon.  First generation offenders and attacks will be introduced followed by present day attacks such as the Target hack and the offenders who were involved. Analysis of offender demographics, characteristics, behavior, motives, personality, and psychological health presented will be utilized to profile real-life cyber criminals and their criminal patterns/behaviors.


Students who successfully complete this class will be able to:

  1. Apply proper research techniques to produce comprehensive writings by utilizing course texts, readings, discussions, and presentations. (Application, Critical Thinking, Communication)
  2. Discuss and critique topics in weekly group collaboration and activities to develop diverse and critical perspectives. (Communication, Knowledge, Application)
  3. Identify and describe the terminology relevant to cybercrime and criminal profiling. (Knowledge, Communication)
  4. Recognize criminal behavior, its motivation, and patterns of offenses and apply these concepts to real-life criminals and offenses. (Knowledge, Critical Thinking, Application)
  5. Examine the methodology used to profile a criminal in the cyber world and propose recommendations for future data. (Knowledge, Application, Evaluation)
  6. Analyze and interpret statistical data presented in the Hacker Profiling Project (HPP). (Knowledge, Application, Evaluation)

Related Courses

Course name Department Semester
ECCU 518: Special Topics: Introduction to Cloud Computing Master of Science in Cyber Security
ECCU 517: Cyber Law Master of Science in Cyber Security
ECCU 516: The Hacker Mind: Profiling the IT Criminal Master of Science in Cyber Security