Professor Alana Maurushat

Professor Alana Maurushat

Professor in Cyber Security and Behaviour,
Computing & ICT

Professor in Cyber Security and Behaviour,
Criminology & Policing


Dr. Alana Maurushat is a Professor of Cybersecurity and Behaviour at Western Sydney University where she holds a joint position in the School of Computers, Data and Mathematical Sciences, and in the School of Social Sciences. Alana is the Associate Dean International in the SCDMS.

She is currently researching Cryptocurrency Crimes, Cyber Incident Response, Security Acitivation, Payment Diversion Fraud and Ransomware, Cyber Reputation Risk Management, Tracking Money-Laundering through Bitcoin Blenders,  and Ethical Hacking.

She has recently become the Director of Western Centre for Cybersecurity Aid and Community Engagement (WCACE) which is a new cyber incident response centre assisting small businesses with cyber attacks. WCACE will open its doors to serve the public on February 28, 2022.  She previously was Senior Lecturer in Law, Key Researcher on the CRC Data to Decisions – Big Data in National Security, and Senior Fellow with the Australian CyberSecurity Centre for Research and Education all at UNSW. She is the Cyber-Ambassador for the NSW Cybersecurity Node with AusCyber and sits as an expert reviewer in cybersecurity and big data with the Australian Research Council. She is a Special Advisor for cybercrime investigation companies - IFW Global and Cybertrace. She lectures and researches in Cybersecurity, Privacy and Security by Design, Cyber Risk Management, and Artificial Intelligence across the disciplines of law, criminology, business, political science, and information communications technology. Alana has done consultancy work on cyber security, open data, big data, technology, and civil liberties for both the Australian and Canadian governments, industry, and NGOs.

Alana has done media with 60 Minutes, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Insight, ABC, and 730 Report, and is the author of many books and articles.

This information has been contributed by Professor Maurushat.


  • PhD University of New South Wales

Professional Memberships

  • Visiting Senior Fellow, The Faculty of Law, The University of Ottawa, Canada (2011)
  • Visiting Professor, The Faculty of Law, The University of Melbourne, Australia (2013)
  • Visiting Senior Fellow, Faculty of Computer Science, The University of Bologna, Italy (2014)
  • Visiting Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University, UK (2014)
  • International Cybercrime Prevention Association (2016)
  • Prime Minister Cabinet special working party on Women in Cybersecurity (2016)
  • Visiting Professor, Institute of Cybercrime and Big Data Analytics Centre, Simon Fraser University, Canada (2017)
  • Member, Australian Information Security Association (2020 - 2020)
  • College of Experts, ARC (2020)


  • Cyber Security
  • Cybercrime
  • Ethical Hacking
  • Information Technology and Media Law and Policy in the context of Civil Liberties
  • Security Studies

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Computing & ICT
  • Criminology & Policing



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Previous Teaching Areas

  • 102757 Usable Security, 2020



  • Maurushat, A. (2019), 'Ethical Hacking', : University of Ottawa Press 9780776627915.
  • Maurushat, A. (2013), 'Disclosure of Security Vulnerabilities: Legal and Ethical Issues', : Springer 9781447150039.

Chapters in Books

  • Bello, A. and Maurushat, A. (2023), 'Synthesis of evidence on existing and emerging social engineering ransomware attack vectors', Cybersecurity Issues, Challenges, and Solutions in the Business World, IGI Global 9781668458273.
  • Maurushat, A. and Halpin, D. (2022), 'Investigation of cryptocurrency enabled and dependent crimes', Financial Technology and the Law: Combating Financial Crime, Springer 9783030880354.
  • Duong, A., Bello, A. and Maurushat, A. (2022), 'Working from home users at risk of COVID-19 ransomware attacks', Cybersecurity and Cognitive Science, Academic Press 9780323905701.
  • Maurushat, A. and Al-Alosi, H. (2021), 'Policing cybercrime : an inside look at private and public cybercrime investigations', Australian Policing: Critical Issues in 21st Century Police Practice, Routledge 9780367464660.
  • Maurushat, A. and Hamper, R. (2020), 'Security vulnerabilities, backdoors, exploits and the marketplace for each : the return of Boba Fett - bug bounty hunter in the New Republic', Future Law: Emerging Technology, Regulation and Ethics, Edinburgh University Press 9781474417617.
  • Maurushat, A. and Vaile, D. (2017), 'Big data and 'personal information' in Australia, the European Union and the United States', Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Relations as a Challenge for Democracy, Intersentia Publishers 9781780684345.

Journal Articles

  • Thapa, S., Bello, A., Maurushat, A. and Farid, F. (2023), 'Security risks and user perception towards adopting Wearable Internet of Medical Things', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol 20, no 8 .
  • Perera, S., Jin, X., Maurushat, A. and Opoku, D. (2022), 'Factors affecting reputational damage to organisations due to cyberattacks', Informatics, vol 9, no 1 .
  • Maurushat, A. and Nguyen, K. (2022), 'The legal obligation to provide timely security patching and automatic updates', International Cybersecurity Law Review, vol 3, no 2 , pp 437 - 465.
  • Moustafa, A., Bello, A. and Maurushat, A. (2021), 'The role of user behaviour in improving cyber security management', Frontiers in Psychology, vol 12 .
  • Maurushat, A., Bello, A. and Bragg, B. (2019), 'Artificial intelligence enabled cyber fraud : a detailed look into payment diversion fraud and ransomware', Indian Journal of Law and Technology, vol 15, no 2 , pp 261 - 299.
  • Maurushat, A., Trzaskowski, J. and Al-Alosi, H. (2017), 'Open data : turning data into information, and information into insights that allow for evidence-based policy', Newcastle Law Review, vol 12 , pp 104 - 147.
  • Hardy, K. and Maurushat, A. (2017), 'Opening up government data for big data analysis and public benefit', Computer Law and Security Review, vol 33, no 1 , pp 30 - 37.
  • Al-Alosi, H., Vidhata, A. and Maurushat, A. (2016), 'The role of bystanders in cyberbullying', Precedent, vol 132 , pp 20 - 24.
  • Maurushat, A. (2016), 'BD use by law enforcement and intelligence in the national security space : perceived benefits, risks and challenges', Media and Arts Law Review, vol 21, no 3 , pp 229 - 255.
  • Hardy, K. and Maurushat, A. (2016), 'Opening up government datasets for big data analysis to support policy decisions', International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering, vol 10, no 4 , pp 1098 - 1103.
  • Maurushat, A., Chawki, M., Al-Alosi, H. and Shazly, Y. (2014), 'The impact of social networks and mobile technologies on the revolutions in the Arab World : a study of Egypt and Tunisia', Laws, vol 3, no 4 , pp 674 - 692.
  • Maurushat, A., Vaile, D. and Chow, A. (2014), 'The aftermath of mandatory internet filtering and s 313 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth)', Media and Arts Law Review, vol 19, no 3 , pp 263 - 275.
  • Maurushat, A. (2013), 'From cybercrime to cyberwar : security through obscurity or security through absurdity?', Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, vol 19, no 2 , pp 119 - 122.
  • Maurushat, A. (2012), 'Forced transparency : should we keep secrets in times of weak law, and should the law do more to support secrecy?', Media and Arts Law Review, vol 17 , pp 239 - 242.
  • Jamieson, R., Land, L., Winchester, D., Stephens, G., Steel, A., Maurushat, A. and Sarre, R. (2012), 'Addressing identity crime in crime management information systems : definitions, classification, and empirics', Computer Law and Security Review, vol 28, no 4 , pp 381 - 395.
  • Maurushat, A. (2012), 'The role of Internet Service Providers in combating botnets : an examination of recent Australian initiatives and legislative reform', Telecommunications Journal of Australia, vol 62, no 4 , pp 611 - 6118.
  • Maurushat, A. (2010), 'Zombie botnets', Script-ed, vol 7, no 2 , pp 370 - 383.
  • Maurushat, A. and Yu, R. (2009), 'When Internet protocols and legal provisions collide : unauthorised access and Sierra v. Ritz', Computer Law and Security Review, vol 25, no 2 , pp 185 - 188.
  • Maurushat, A. (2008), 'The benevolent health worm : comparing Western human rights-based ethics and Confucian duty-based moral philosophy', Ethics and Information Technology, vol 10, no 1 , pp 11 - 25.

Conference Papers

  • Ameli, L., Chowdhury, M., Farid, F., Bello, A., Sabrina, F. and Maurushat, A. (2022), 'AI and fake news : a conceptual framework for fake news detection', International Conference on Cyber Security, Hangzhou, China.
  • Taylor-Jackson, J., McAlaney, J., Foster, J., Bello, A., Maurushat, A. and Dale, J. (2020), 'Incorporating psychology into cyber security education : a pedagogical approach', International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
  • Bello, A. and Maurushat, A. (2020), 'Technical and behavioural training and awareness solutions for mitigating ransomeware attacks', Computer Science On-line Conference, virtual.
  • Maurushat, A., Bennett-Moses, L. and Vaile, D. (2015), 'Using 'big' metadata for criminal intelligence : understanding limitations and appropriate safeguards', International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law, San Diego, Calif..

Other Publications

  • 2017, 'Conditions Enabling Open Data and Promoting a Data Sharing Culture', Report
  • 2017, 'Technical Country Reports on Enabling an Open Data Culture 2017', Report

Alana's research mainly focusses in three domains: Cybersecurity, Big Data Analytics (Machine Learning & AI) and Information Technology, Media Law & Policy in context of Civil Liberties. Her research in each domain is interdisciplinary and makes an effort to cover all aspects in every broad sector. Through her books, journal articles and collaborations with her peer cyber professionals, she aims to highlight the necessity of ethics in cyber security henceforth, working for the privacy, security of the communi

Cyber security:

Maurushat's prime objective for her cyber security research is to make significant contribution leading to remarkable impact for cybersecurity professionals, ethical hackers, business, the neuro-diverse community and to steer and shape both research and policy within Australia and the Asia Pacific region. Her interdisciplinary approach in cyber research can be conveyed through the multiple journal articles published in the fields of foreign affairs/political science, law, computer science, information systems, social sciences and information philosophy.

Big Data Analytics (Machine – Learning / Artificial Intelligence): 

  • Through extensive collaboration between eminent universities (UNSW and Deakin/La Trobe), members of the D2DCRC including computer scientists at universities and in industry, as well as with government departments, Alana has researched in big data analytics in a broad spectrum.

In her book "Ethical Hacking", that includes data analytics from hacking forums on the dark market, Maurushat explores her interest; intersection of data analytics and cyber security in the big data space. She has the knowledge of converting the data analytics methods to open source machine learning analytics tools. The empirical work on ethical hackers reaches back to 2001 to current; Maurushat may be the only person in world doing empirical work in the area outside of intelligence agencies and defence.

Information Technology and Media Law and Policy in the context of Civil Liberties: 

  • Alana is highly engaged with issues in civil liberties and information technology. She has efficiently mastered the art of implementing her legal knowledge to bring a civil change in information technology. Maurushat is the Academic Director of the Cyberspace Law and Policy Community at UNSW, involving a group of experts that engage to in viewing information technology and media issues through the lens of ‘public interest’.
  • Maurushat is the researcher and author of the annual Freedom House Report Freedom on the Net– global perspectives (2011-2017), Australia region. Founded by the late Eleanor Roosevelt, "Freedom on the Net" is produced by the NGO Freedom House. The report is sponsored by Google and Facebook and is the most widely utilized resource worldwide for activists, government officials, journalists, businesses, and international organizations aiming to understand the emerging threats and opportunities in the internet freedom landscape globally, as well as policies and developments in individual countries.

This information has been contributed by Professor Maurushat.

Previous Projects

Title: Brain-Inspired Algorithms for Network Anomaly and Intrusion Detection
  • Department of Defence
Western Researchers: Andre Van Schaik, Saeed Afshar, Ahmed Moustafa, Abubakar Bello and Alana Maurushat
Years: 2020-02-12 - 2020-06-30
ID: P00026394
Title: Socially Engineered Payment Diversion Fraud [via UNSW]
  • The NSW Cyber Security Network
Western Researchers: Alana Maurushat, Abubakar Bello, Jeff Foster and Tomas Trescak
Years: 2018-10-31 - 2021-06-30
ID: P00025126


Current Supervision

Thesis Title: Analysis of Class B Beacon attacks on Large-Scale LoRaWAN networks
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Investigating the Cybercrime Threat Behaviour of Outsourced Employee
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Mixed Reality Technology (MRT) and CYBERCRIMES: exploiting mixed reality technology applications as enticement & the measures to reduce its effects (Cybersecurity Framework)
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Understanding Security Risks and Users Perception Towards Adopting Internet of Medical Things: Robotic IoMT
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: MRES International coursework
Field of Research:

Previous Supervision

Thesis Title: The Ahmadiyya Group's Resilience to Prejudice in the Indonesian Context
Field of Research:


Title: A $200,000 Internet Fraud: Will Anyone Investigate?
Description: Maurushat discusses her investigation work in IFW Global, specializing in asset recovery, including from business email compromise and other types of internet-based fraud.
Title: Australia Is Being Cyberattacked by State Actor, Prime Minister Says
Description: Featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Cybersecurity professor addresses the Cyber-attack against Australia and the involvement of a State actor.
Title: Want a career in Cybersecurity? Ask yourself these questions to know for sure
Description: Maurushat talked about her journey in cyber security and how young minds are needed in this trending field.
Title: Modern warfare has changed: Cyber attack threat rising in Australia
Description: Featured in a major news website, Maurushat talks about the cyber attack against Australia, hints it to be a retaliation.
Title: New York Times: Australian Cybersecurity Report Shows Gaps in Private Companies Defenses
Description: Featured in New York Times, Maurushat talks about the cyber threats to businesses in the private sector, indicating that the shortage of skilled workers in the industry as the major cause.
Title: Talking Point Podcast: It Wont Happen to Me
Description: Maurushat chaired the interesting panel discussion about the myths and misconceptions associated with Cyber crime.
Title: ABC News: AFP receives fresh intelligence after dark net takedown
Description: Maurushat talks about the closure of two of the biggest darknet marketplaces has given the Australian Federal Police a trove of information about some of the dark net???s anonymous users.
Title: ABC News: Wikileaks releases CIAs entire hacking capacity
Description: Maurushat was interviewed by ABC news to discuss the potential vulnerabilities of people's devices exposed by WikiLeaks in their latest report against the CIA.
Title: ABC 7.30: New cybercrime laws
Description: Detailed discussion on the new cyber crime laws that were introduced in 2011.

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