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Supply Chain Industry Updates

Researchers Want to Bring Chaos to Some Supply Chains (And That’s a Good Thing)

iStock/towfiqu ahamed

Researchers from Georgia State University soon will be looking for new and better ways to muck up some supply chains.

That was not a typo. Only, the supply chains of interest here are illicit and used for virtual products such as dodgy credit cards and online identities, counterfeit currency and fraudulent documents. The school’s Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Research Group is the recipient of a “Disrupting Operations of Illicit Supply Networks” grant of nearly $250,000 from the National Science Foundation.

Georgia State explained the work of the research group “will help policymakers and law enforcement agencies develop ethical and legal interventions for online and virtual criminal markets by suggesting where best to implement the disruptive efforts needed to dismantle these networks.” It will also examine the intersection between legitimate and illicit supply chain operations.

“Illicit commerce, in both conventional markets and online darknet markets, relies on supply chains that coordinate the production, sales, information and capital flows,” said Yubao Wu, assistant professor of computer science. “They work much like supply chains for legitimate commerce. We will investigate these network interactions and how well they deal with events like law enforcement interventions, health crises and rival groups’ efforts.”

David Maimon, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and criminology, said the research group intends to “generate low-cost but powerful tools to counter the efforts of online offenders who engage in different illegal activities along the various junctions of the online illicit supply chain. Additionally, the empirical evidence, expert insights and solid institutional relationships we generate will lay the groundwork for future high-impact projects that impact illicit cyber networks and operations.”