Routine activity theory (RAT) was initially proposed to explain shifts in urban crime rates in the late 1970s, and has subsequently been applied to predictions of predatory criminal or victimization events. Despite a number of studies attempting to apply RAT to the vast array of crimes now taking place in a virtual environment such as phishing, fraud, malware infection, identify theft, computer viruses and cyber stalking on the Internet in Western countries, little is known about whether RAT could address automatic teller machine (ATM) hacking in an Asian setting. The current study applies RAT in order to examine a high-profile case of European hackers programming ATMs in Taipei to “spit out” cash netting the thieves $2.6 million dollars. The results indicate that the Taiwanese case is well covered by the doctrine of RAT. Moreover, this study bolstered the neo-ideology of “cannikin law” within cyber crime, in which the effectiveness of cyber security and levels of risk would depend on the magnitude of guardianship (in reference to the idea that any protection measure is only being as strong as its weakest link).
Hsieh, M-L. & Wang, S.Y.K. (2018). Routine activities in a virtual space: A Taiwanese case of an ATM hacking spree. International Journal of Cyber Criminology, 12(1), 333-352. doi: 10.5281/zenodo.495776
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