Macquarie University
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Malware architects and rational choice: a case study analysis of three cyber-offenders

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posted on 2022-03-28, 11:28 authored by Sarah Morrison
This thesis explores the cybercrime of malware through case study research. In doing so, the paper will apply rational choice theory, specifically Cornish and Clarkes (1986) rational choice perspectives, to malware architects Robert Tappan Morris and David Lee Smith, as well as alleged malware architect Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev. As will be demonstrated, each of the three-case examples, spread over four decades,have contributed to the development of future malware through their architecture and design, providing a critical timeline of events and motivation. The primary aim of the research is to establish whether rational choice is an appropriate theory to apply to malware architects. As such, this thesis explores a variety of complex issues, with the intention of gaining insights into why malware architects commit their crimes. This thesis is intended to help fill a gap in criminological knowledge regarding malware and provide a pathway to future research into malware and malware architects.


Table of Contents

Chapter One. Introduction -- Chapter Two. Literature review -- Chapter Three. Research methods -- Chapter Four. Robert Tappan Morris -- Chapter Five. David Lee Smith -- Chapter Six. Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev -- Conclusion -- Bibliography.


Bibliography: pages 96-107 Theoretical thesis.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Security Studies and Criminology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Security Studies and Criminology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

James Martin


Copyright Sarah Morrison 2017. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (107 pages)

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