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Valuables are assets (goods, information or people) that can represent a (high) value to criminals and can therefore attract crime.

Valuable goods

Diamonds, and example of easily tradeble goods

Valuable goods are personal properties that represent a value to criminals. There are several types of personal property that are particularly relevant to consider as valuable goods:

  • Money or any other right on capital, including securities like bonds, stocks, investment funds, etc.
  • Objects that can 'easily' (relative to the profit gained) be sold like jewellery, cars, drugs, bicycles or mobiles
  • Objects that are particularly in demand (particularly rare objects, such as art, specialized machinery or objects which are associated with a high status)
  • Objects which contain valuable materials that can be recycled (such as copper in wires or bronze in statues)

Valuable information

Creditcard information, an example of information used for identity fraud

Valuable information is information that, if information security is breached, can be abused by criminals to gain wealth. This can be achieved by the following mechanisms:

  • Extortion (threat of breach of confidentiality, integrity, availability, authenticity or non-repudiation of the information)
  • Sale of the information (breach of confidentiality)
  • Theft of financial resources by identity fraud (breach of authenticity)

There are several types of property that are particularly relevant to consider as valuable information:

  • Credentials, such as login codes, creditcard numbers, passports, ID cards, passwords, etcetera
  • Sellable data, such as large address lists, commercial information, developments and patents, etcetera
  • Any data the owner would be willing to pay for not to have disclosed

Valuable persons

Photograph of Freddy Heineken, who was kidnapped for ransom in 1983

Valuable persons are people that, when security is breached, can be used by criminals to extort relations of the victim. This can be achieved by either abduction or hostage taking (for example of an organisation with an employee, or a family with a family member). Valuable persons can be identified by two qualities:

  • the high value they have to their relations;
  • the resources available to (and likelihood of) those relations to submit to extortion, i.e. pay a ransom.

Footnotes and references