Sociological Theoretical Explanation – Labeling Theory:
According to Mark Bond, criminal justice professor at American Military University, labeling theory is an appropriate deviance framework that can be used to explain cyber-criminal activities. It is believed that once hackers, scammers, and their scammers realize that they have been labeled as deviant (or criminal), can cause them to “actually live up to the negative label, when in fact, they might not have continued with deviant behaviors had they not been forced in that direction by the societal effects of labeling” (Bond, 2014). Scammers may sometimes relish the mysterious label (stigma) they have been assigned. “A stigma is a powerfully negative [or othering] label that—when internalized—can change a person’s self-perception and possibly their social identity” (Bond, 2014). Hence, law enforcement, national security and especially cybersecurity educators should be careful they are not promoting the mystique of such behavior through inadvertent labeling.