WACCO 2021

3rd Workshop on Attackers and Cyber-Crime Operations

IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy 2021

September 7, 2021 - Virtual Conference

The emergence and commoditization of cyber-criminal activities calls for new empirical methods, measures, and technologies to quantify and understand offender operations across all forms of cyber-crime: from malware engineering and attack delivery, to running underground operations trading illegal goods such as drugs and illegal pornography, to spreading disinformation and planning (cyber-)terrorism operations. Without appropriate scientific measures of cyber-offender and attacker operations, capabilities, and resources, it remains impossible to derive sound policies, strategies and technologies that appropriately address realistic and evidence-based attacker and offender models. 

The 3rd Workshop on Attackers and Cyber-Crime Operations (WACCO 2021) aims to provide a venue for research and discussion on cyber-criminal activities. WACCO 2021 is co-located with the 6th IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy (EuroS&P 2021).

Call for Papers

WACCO 2021 calls for all contributions aiming at providing methods, measures, metrics, and technologies or tools to quantitatively or qualitatively evaluate cyber-offenders and attackers from technical and non-technical angles. The workshop invites contributions from, but not limited to, the fields of computer science and computer security, criminology, psychology, law, and economics addressing this issue.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Empirical studies on attacker operations and communities
  • Novel methods to perform attacker measurements at scale across several communities
  • Cooperation and trust as a source of attackers’ effectiveness
  • Attackers’ skill set
  • Attackers’ operational security
  • Measuring the spread of false information campaigns on social media
  • Quantitative and qualitative methods to measure, track, and counter cybercrime
  • Cybercrime measurement and networks
  • Cybercrime policy
  • Economics of cybercrime
  • Profiling of cybercriminals
  • Security metric design and evaluation
  • Security patch measurement
  • Statistical exploration and prediction of security incidents
  • Open Source INTelligence (OSINT) and digital footprints

The workshop is co-located with the 6th IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy (EuroS&P 2021).

Important Dates

All deadlines are Anywhere on Earth (AoE = UTC-12h).

Paper submission due May 7, 2021
Early rejection notification due June 16, 2021
Rebuttal phase June 16-18, 2021
Acceptance notice to authors July 2, 2021
Publication-ready papers submitted July 16, 2021
Virtual Workshop September 7, 2021

Review Model

Open reports

WACCO promotes an open and transparent review process. Reviews of accepted papers will be published together with the papers and archived in a public github repository associated with WACCO. A link to that repository must be included in all accepted submissions. The reasons why WACCO implements an open report model are the following:

  • It documents why the paper was considered positively to contribute to the larger scientific domain it pertains to;
  • It provides a critique useful to better delineate research limitations and scope, which can be of particular benefit to young researchers and students alike;
  • It provides a structural incentive for reviewers to write constructive and clear reviews;
  • It provides a structural incentive for authors to implement reviewer recommendations for the camera-ready version of their paper;
  • It provides a critical viewpoint for future work and research follow-ups;
  • It provides additional transparency to the quality of the adopted review process and its outcomes.

Early-reject and rebuttals

Early rejections integrated with a rebuttal period have the combined benefit of:

  • Providing quick, constructive feedback to early-stage work that needs substantial improvement before acceptance;
  • Alleviating voluntarily workload from the PC;
  • Implement a communication channel between reviewers and authors enabling fairer evaluations.

The review cycle at WACCO is therefore divided in two phases:

  • 1st phase: all submitted papers will receive at least two reviews; those for which the PC, after a discussion involving also the chairs, see no way forward will be given an early rejection notification together with the received reviews and a summary from the chairs on the reasons for the early rejection.
  • 2nd phase: all papers that are not early-rejected can optionally provide a rebuttal to address factual misunderstandings in the paper. The rebuttals will be read by the phase 1 reviewers, who can then modify or update their feedback, and will be in input to a third, new reviewer for an additional 2nd phase review.


WACCO encourages submission of full papers and position papers from academia, industry, and government. They should present interesting results for both theory and experimentation in the area of attacker and cyber-crime operations. We also particularly welcome independent reproduction of previous studies or experiments or negative results. We expect full papers to be of 10 pages in length (IEEE Format). Longer papers that document extensive experimentation are full in scope (which could be described in annex of the main body of the paper). Position papers of around 4 pages in length should present new open and interesting questions that the community should address or open questions that past research papers have not yet addressed. We expect position papers to be presented in panels or poster-platform sessions.

Anonymous submissions

Papers should be fully anonymized before review: author names or affiliations may not appear or be revealed in the text. Previous work of the authors should be referred to the third person. In the unusual case that an anonymous reference is not possible, the authors should blind the reference (e.g. “[x] Blinded citation to preserve submission anonymity”). Papers that are not properly anonymized may be desk rejected.
Submission of work that has been previously presented at conferences without proceedings, even if that work is associated with the names of the authors, or is published on online repositories such as ArXiv.org or SSRN, is allowed as long as the submission is fully anonymized. PC members that may recognize the work and its authors are asked to declare conflict on that paper and will not be assigned to it.


All papers will be published by IEEE CS and posted on the IEEE digital libraries. All authors of accepted papers are expected to present their paper at the workshop.

Submission site

Please submit your paper through EasyChair here.

Organization Committees

Program Co-chairs

Luca AllodiEindhoven University of Technology
Alice HutchingsUniversity of Cambridge
Sergio PastranaUniversity Carlos III of Madrid

Publicity and Publication Co-chairs

Publicity ChairPavlo BurdaEindhoven University of Technology
Publication ChairJosé Cabrero HolguerasCERN and University Carlos III of Madrid
Publicity ChairMichele CampobassoEindhoven University of Technology

Program Committee


The workshop is co-located with the 6th IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy (EuroS&P 2021). To register please visit the registration page of the main event.