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Taking down websites to prevent crime

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Conference Object

Change log


Website takedown has been used to disrupt criminal activities for well over a decade. Yet little is known about its overall effectiveness, particularly as many websites can be replaced rapidly and at little cost. We conducted lengthy interviews with a range of people actively engaged in website takedown, including commercial companies that offer specialist services, organisations targeted by criminals, UK law enforcement and service providers who respond to takedown requests. We found that law enforcement agencies are far less effective at takedown than commercial firms, who get an awful lot more practice. We conclude that the police must either raise their game, or subcontract the process.



law enforcement, interviews, companies, internet, malware, recruitment, government

Journal Title

eCrime Researchers Summit, eCrime

Conference Name

2016 APWG Symposium on Electronic Crime Research (eCrime)

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/M020320/1)
This work was primarily supported by the UK Home Office under contract number HOS14/050. Some follow up work was completed with the support of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, Cyber Security Division (DHSS&T/CSD) Broad Agency Announcement 11.02, the Government of Australia and SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific [contract number N66001-13-C-0131]. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the funders.