Dr Dennis Desmond | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Dr Dennis Desmond

PhD Sunshine Coast, MA IU, BA OSU

  • Lecturer, Cyber Security
  • School of Science, Technology and Engineering
+61 7 5456 5104
Sunshine Coast
Dennis Desmond

Dennis Desmond has spent the majority of his career in the counterintelligence discipline, first as a U.S. Army Special Agent, later as an FBI Special Agent, and finally, as a Special Agent with the Defense Intelligence Agency. Dennis is a veteran of Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom IV, and V. As an FBI Special Agent, Dr. Desmond was assigned to the National Computer Crime Squad as a National Security Division detailee. Dennis specialised in international and state-sponsored cyber threats, especially those from Eastern Europe. Dennis also worked closely with the various intelligence community members on national security-related cybercrime issues. As a Senior Intelligence Officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency, Dennis served as a HUMINT support officer focusing on identity Operations and Identity. Dennis earned several awards and recognition of his establishment and leadership of a specialised cyber unit at Fort Meade, Maryland for the US Department of Defense. Dennis’s last assignment was with the US Special Operations Command as the Chief Identity Scientist supporting Special Mission Unit operations.

Dennis was selected to attend Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government as a National Security Fellow, attended the George C. Marshall School of Government in Garmisch, GE as a Senior Fellow, and has attended a variety of specialised law enforcement and intelligence training courses throughout the world. Dennis has also been an instructor for various U.S. Government agencies specialising in signature reduction, identity operations, and other intelligence related topics.

For his PhD, Dennis researched the processes used by criminals to launder cryptocurrencies from a human factors and sociotechnical systems perspective. He is also currently a researcher at the Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems on darknet interventions under an ARC Linkage Grant. Dennis has extensive experience working with international law enforcement and intelligence agency personnel.

Professional memberships and affiliations

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia (HFESA)


ARC Linkage Grant - Scholarship, University of the Sunshine Coast (PhD) (2017)

National Security Fellowship, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (2013)

Fellowship, George C. Marshall School for Democratic Studies (1994)

Scholarship, Indiana University, Russian and East European Institute (1992)

Professional Social Media

Research grants

Grant/Project name Investigators  Funding body & A$ value Year(s) Focus (of research grant)
ARC Linkage Professor Paul Salmon, Professor David Lacey $540,322 2017 - 2021 Darknet Market interventions

Research areas

  • darknet marketplace interventions
  • cryptocurrency laundering (cryptolaundering)

Teaching areas

  • Cyberintelligence
  • Cryptography
  • Blockchain and Cybersecurity
  • Darknet Investigations and Exploitation

Program coordinator

Evaluating cryptocurrency laundering as a complex socio-technical system: A systematic literature review. https://research.usc.edu.au/permalink/61USC_INST/1vg4fiv/alma99451460202621

Out of control? Using STAMP to model the control and feedback mechanisms surrounding identity crime in darknet marketplaces https://research.usc.edu.au/permalink/61USC_INST/1vg4fiv/alma99474908402621

Breaking bad systems with Human Factors and Ergonomics: Using Work Domain Analysis to identify strategies to disrupt trading in dark net marketplaces https://research.usc.edu.au/permalink/61USC_INST/1vg4fiv/alma99450846702621

Cryptolaundering: Optimising Cryptocurrency Laundering Interventions https://research.usc.edu.au/permalink/61USC_INST/1vg4fiv/alma99489107702621

Functional systems within cryptolaundering processes: a work domain analysis model of cryptolaundering activities https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/QAXDJUN8S9IRRHKDWWSJ/full?target=10.1080/23738871.2021.1948088

Dennis Desmond’s specialist areas of knowledge include cryptocurrency money laundering, darknet marketplace activities and interventions, national security and espionage, cybersecurity, cyber intelligence, and blockchain technologies.

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