Computer Susceptibility to Trespassing Incidents

David Maimon
Associate Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of Maryland

Key Findings

  • A cyber intruder’s physical proximity to users impacts trespassing only for the first attempt.
  • Successful cyber attacks are conducted during the most active user times, which is not necessarily during official business hours.


In the article, “On the Relevance of Spatial and Temporal Dimensions in Assessing Computer Susceptibility to System Trespassing Incidents,” Maimon and his co-authors examined intruders’ attempts to compromise computers. This study looked at the routine activities users engage in that leave them vulnerable to exploitation and trespassing from intruders and analyzes the successful attempts at trespassing on company and client computers. To test this, the researchers utilized ‘honeypots,’ a resource that is likely to be attacked or infiltrated, such as large companies or institutions. In this study, the researchers used IP addresses from universities in China and Israel to note the amount of successful trespassing events over a 30-day period and to determine the role geography plays in the probability of cyber attacks. The results were mixed for the finding that geographical locations of the intruders increases the probability of user’s computers being compromised. When the researchers only looked at the first trespassing event, the results supported that an intruder’s proximity to users impacts trespassing. Finally, the data also showed that successful cyber attacks are conducted during the most active user times but not necessarily their official business hours.

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