Inside the Criminal Mind
Inside Cybercriminal Minds
Criminal Mind vs. Cybercriminal Mind
by Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.
Inside the Cybercriminal Mind is a Dark Psychology iPredator definitions blog post dedicated to Stanton E. Samenow, Ph.D. for his kind gesture to quote me in his recently published book, “Inside the Criminal Mind: Revised and Updated Edition“ [November, 2014]. My first contact from Dr. Samenow was an email he sent in 2013 complimenting me on my iPredator construct. Not believing Dr. Samenow would actually recognize my work and then follow-up with an email, I spent the day verifying it was him who had written. Sure enough, it was Dr. Samenow and I was truly honored. To have one of the fathers of modern forensics and criminology notice your work can only be described as humbling.
Fast forward to October 26, 2014 and I am once again honored to have Dr. Samenow write me another email with the announcement of his revised and updated edition of “Inside the Criminal Mind: Revised and Updated Edition“ to be released on November 4, 2014. I immediately wrote back thanking him for contacting me about his upcoming release and a request to one day have the opportunity to speak with him to discuss iPredator and what I envisioned to be a discussion about the Criminal Mind vs. Cybercriminal Mind. Dr. Samenow wrote back the following message, which I will never forget. He wrote, “I may be able to do this on Wednesday. I did quote you on p. 63 of the book. Stanton“. Let’s just say the number, 63, has now been allocated to my favorite numbers group. Upon purchasing his book and immediately going to page 63, Dr. Samenow wrote as follows:
Psychologist, Michael Nuccitelli, an expert in the area of online predators, points out, “Bullying use to be confined to schools, neighborhoods, or some small geographic location that the bullied child could leave and seek respite. With cyberbullying, the target child has no escape from the taunting and harassment”.
I cannot thank Dr. Samenow enough other than offering my insights into what I believe is no longer the criminal mind, but cybercriminal mind. With Information and Communications Technology (ICT) rapidly enveloping all aspects of human existence, it is fair to assume criminals, deviants, severely disturbed and the angry find cyberspace to be an excellent environment to target others.
iPredator is a global term used to distinguish anyone who engages in criminal, coercive, deviant or abusive behaviors using ICT. Central to my construct is the premise that Information Age criminals, deviants and the violently disturbed are new classifications to humanity. Furthermore, I do not subscribe to the notion that criminals and deviants use cyberspace and ICT merely as tools to carry out their harmful plans. Not just criminals and deviants, but all inhabitants of the Information Age are becoming dependent upon ICT, social media, virtuality and anything digital. Inside the cybercriminal mind, the reality-virtuality continuum runs rampant. Related to Dr. Samenow’s work, I have provided the reader my definitions of iPredator, Dark Psychology, iPredator Bridge, Cyberstealth & Online Psychopathy.
“Darkside of Cyberspace is a metaphor and conceptual framework defining a virtual environmental realm that includes all criminal, deviant, deceptive, harmful and malevolent activities in the abstract universe of cyberspace. Whereas iPredator is a criminal, deviant and disturbed typology construct, Darkside of Cyberspace also includes legal and illegal online activities, as well as, destructive and self-destructive online behaviors.” Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D., iPredator Inc. 
iPredator: A person, group or nation who, directly or indirectly, engages in exploitation, victimization, coercion, stalking, theft or disparagement of others using Information and Communications Technology [ICT]. iPredators are driven by deviant fantasies, desires for power and control, retribution, religious fanaticism, political reprisal, psychiatric illness, perceptual distortions, peer acceptance or personal and financial gain. iPredators can be any age or gender and are not bound by economic status, race, religion or national heritage. iPredator is a global term used to distinguish anyone who engages in criminal, coercive, deviant or abusive behaviors using ICT. Central to the construct is the premise that Information Age criminals, deviants and the violently disturbed are psychopathological classifications new to humanity.
Whether the offender is a cyberbully, cyberstalker, cyber harasser, internet troll, cybercriminal, online sexual predator, cyber terrorist, online child pornography consumer and distributor or engaged in internet defamation or nefarious online deception, they fall within the scope of iPredator. The three criteria used to define an iPredator include:
- A self-awareness of causing harm to others, directly or indirectly, using ICT.
- The usage of ICT to obtain, tamper with, exchange and deliver harmful information.
- A general understanding of Cyberstealth used to engage in criminal or deviant activities or to profile, identify, locate, stalk and engage a target.
Unlike human predators prior to the Information Age, iPredators include the multitude of benefits offered by Information and Communications Technology [ICT]. These assistances include exchange of information over long distances, rapidity of information exchanged and the seemingly infinite access to data available. Malevolent in intent, iPredators rely on their capacity to deceive others using ICT in the abstract and artificial electronic universe known as cyberspace. Therefore, as the internet naturally offers all ICT users anonymity, if they decide, iPredators actively design online profiles and diversionary tactics to remain undetected and untraceable.
Cyberstealth, a sub-tenet of iPredator, is a covert method by which iPredators attempt to establish and sustain complete anonymity while they engage in ICT activities planning their next assault, investigating innovative surveillance technologies or researching the social profiles of their next target. Concurrent with the concept of Cyberstealth is iPredator Victim Intuition [IVI]. An iPredator’s IVI is their aptitude to sense a target’s ODDOR [Offline Distress Dictates Online Response], online & offline vulnerabilities, psychological weaknesses, technological limitations, increasing their success of a cyber-attack with minimal ramifications.
“The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.” Carl Jung (1875-1961)
Dark Psychology: Dark Psychology is the study of the human condition as it relates to the psychological nature of people to prey upon other people motivated by criminal and/or deviant drives that lack purpose and general assumptions of instinctual drives and social sciences theory. All of humanity has the potentiality to victimize humans and other living creatures. While many restrain or sublimate this tendency, some act upon these impulses. Dark Psychology seeks to understand those thoughts, feelings, perceptions and subjective processing systems that lead to predatory behavior that is antithetical to contemporary understandings of human behavior.
Dark Psychology assumes that criminal, deviant and abusive behaviors are purposive and have some rational, goal-oriented motivation 99% of the time. It is the remaining 1%, Dark Psychology parts from Adlerian theory and Teleology. Dark Psychology encompasses all that makes us who we are in relationship to our dark side. All cultures, faiths and humanity have this proverbial cancer. From the moment we are born to the time of death, there is a side hidden within us that some have called “Evil” and others have defined as criminal, deviant or psychopathic.
Dark Psychology posits there are people who commit these same acts and do so not for power, money, sex, retribution or any other known purpose. They commit horrid acts without a goal. Simplified, their ends do not justify their means. There are people who violate and injure others for the sake of doing so. Within in all of us is this potential. A potential to harm others without cause, explanation, or purpose is the area explored. Dark Psychology assumes this dark potential is incredibly complex and even more difficult to define.
“In nature, wild animals stalk and measure their prey using stealth and tactical strategies increasing their probability of success while decreasing potential for injury. iPredators also use stealth, Cyberstealth, to stalk online users increasing the probability of achieving their aims, while decreasing their potential of identification and punishment.” Michael Nuccitelli Psy.D., (2012)
iPredator Bridge is a theoretical sub-tenet of iPredator representing the psychological, perceptual & behavioral trajectory of people who use Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to harm others motivate by self-righteousness, moral turpitude, religious/political/philosophical convictions and pro-social perceptual distortions. Not driven by criminal, malevolent or deviant endeavors, iPredator Bridge seeks to define why some people approach the nefarious and malevolent realm of iPredator, decide to proceed, and then continue along a trajectory where their cognitive, affective, behavioral and perceptual actions harm others or societies.
Similar to the iPredator, they are motivated by personal convictions, greed, power, control, narcissism or psychopathology. Different from the iPredator, they have yet to fully engage in criminal/deviant activities using ICT or use complex perceptual distortions to validate the harm they cause. iPredator Bridge investigates why some people draw near to this realm and either proceed in their maladaptive trajectory or cease and desist.
Hidden in cyberspace, and through ICT, they contemplate the benefits and detriments, proceed, and then continue a path where their cognitive and perceptual processes are focused upon directly or indirectly harming others. For those who cross this proverbial bridge, they enter a world where their choices are increasingly governed by criminal, deviant, immoral and maladaptive fantasies.
Although it is assumed all humanity, has residing deep in their psyche, the potential & Dark Psychology for behaving in harmful and malevolent ways they rarely or never activate, ICT and cyberspace offers a direct connection and psychological route to the dark side. Just as ICT and cyberspace is incredibly pro-social and beneficial to humanity, these same technological advancements can lead humanity to diabolical and sinister endeavors.
iPredator Bridge is a symbolic representation of the approach, route and initial crossing into the realm of the iPredator. In a rudimentary and abstract way, it is posited that cyberspace, ICT and all future technological advancements, related to information technology, is an extension of the mind and the instinctual drives of the collective brain to replicate itself outside a human organism. Related to this postulate are the theoretical tenets of Carl Jung (1875-1961) and his construct of the Collective Unconscious.
“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness’s of other people.” Carl Jung (1875-1961)
Cyberstealth is a concept formulated along with iPredator and is a term used to define a method and/or strategy by which iPredators use Information and Communications Technology (ICT) , if they so choose, to establish and sustain complete anonymity while they troll and stalk a target. Cyberstealth is a methodology entrenched in disinformation or also called cyber deception.
Given the internet inherently affords everyone anonymity, Cyberstealth ranges from negligible to highly complex and multi-faceted. The rationale for using “stealth” in the suffix of this term, serves to remind ICT users the primary intent fueling iPredators. This intent is to hide or distort their identity by designing false online profiles, covert tactics and methods to ensure their identities remain concealed reducing their probability of identification, apprehension and punishment.
As the Internet naturally offers all ICT users anonymity if they decide, iPredators actively design online profiles and diversionary tactics to remain undetected and untraceable. Cyberstealth is a covert method by which iPredators are able to establish and sustain complete anonymity while they engage in ICT activities planning their next assault, investigating innovative surveillance technologies or researching the social profiles of their next target.
Concurrent with the concept of Cyberstealth is IVI or iPredator Victim Intuition. By using Cyberstealth, an iPredator’s IVI is the aptitude to sense a target’s online vulnerabilities, weaknesses and technological limitations increasing their success with minimal ramifications.
iPredators rely on the multitude of benefits offered by ICT. These assistances include exchange of information over long distances, rapidity of information exchanged and the seemingly infinite access to data available. Malevolent in intent, iPredators rely on their capacity to deceive others in the abstract electronic universe known as cyberspace.
The iPredator practices Cyberstealth using multiple covert strategies. In fact, the third criteria used to define an iPredator includes a general understanding of Cyberstealth used to engage in criminal or deviant acts or to profile, identify, locate, stalk and engage a target. Also lying upon a continuum of expertise, iPredators are assessed as being advanced in their Cyberstealth practices as opposed to a haphazard approach of targeting a victim without attempting or knowing how to hide their identity.
Online Psychopaths [aka, iPredopaths]: iPredopathy is an Information Age criminology and human consciousness construct replacing the pre-Information Age profiles of sociopathy and psychopathy. iPredopathy is an advanced stage personality disorder describing any adolescent to adult male or female who skillfully uses Information and Communications Technology [ICT] to troll, identify, control and manipulate their human targets.
Driven by grandiosity, sexual perversion or perceptual distortion, Online Psychopaths and iPredopaths experience no remorse or shame for the harm they cause others. Just as iPredators, many iPredopaths do not break the law and live unscathed by law enforcement, fraternal organizations, religious institutions and the legal system.
Using cyberspace [aka, Internet, Darknet, Usenet] and electronic devices, Online Psychopaths [aka, iPredopaths] design and implement their criminal, deviant, violent, deceptive and cyberstalking tactics. Their human quarries are unsuspecting, vulnerable, submissive and internet safety ignorant children, older adults, unprepared businesses and psychologically distressed adults. Unlike the psychologically dysfunctional, developmentally immature and minimal to moderate disordered iPredator, iPredopaths do not experience guilt, remorse, shame or fear before, during or after their offline and online conquests and/or manipulative interpersonal dynamic strategies.
In addition to being devoid of remorse and shame, iPredopaths are extremely grandiose, habitually deceptive and highly dependent upon ICT to fuel, define and justify their dissociative perceptual fantasies. iPredopaths are similar in core beliefs to pre-Information Age psychopaths, but differ in behavioral signatures, stalking methodologies, choice of hunting environments, and psychodynamic faculties.
Although at much higher rates of engaging in violent, sadistic and severely depraved behaviors than the general population, most iPredopaths are not homicidal, sexually perverted or overtly violent. In fact, using the persuasive and deceptive power of cyberspace, iPredopaths are capable of embarking upon offline opportunities endeavoring to become heads of state, corporate and community leaders, successful religious zealots and members of the political elite.
Online Psychopathy Paper Direct Download Link: http://goo.gl/aOZP17
Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.
Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D. is a NYS licensed psychologist and cyber criminology consultant. He completed his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Adler University in 1994. In 2010, Dr. Nuccitelli authored the dark side of cyberspace concept known as “iPredator.” In November 2011, he established iPredator Inc., offering educational, investigative, and advisory services involving criminal psychology, cyberstalking, online predators, internet trolls, the dark side of cyberspace and internet safety. Dr. Nuccitelli has worked in the mental health field over the last thirty-plus years and he has volunteered his time helping cyber-attacked victims since 2010. His goal is to reduce victimization, theft, and disparagement from iPredators.
In addition to aiding citizens & disseminating educational content, Dr. Nuccitelli’s mission is to initiate a sustained national educational and awareness internet safety campaign with the help of private, state, and federal agencies. He is always available, at no cost, to interact with online users, professionals, and the media. To invite Dr. Nuccitelli to conduct training, media engagements, educational services, or consultation, please call him at (347) 871-2416 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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“Thanks to humanity’s ignorance of the darkside of cyberspace, the criminal mind has successfully become the cybercriminal mind.”
Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D. (2014)