Cyber Security in the Age of COVID-19: A Timeline and Analysis of Cyber-Crime and Cyber-Attacks during the Pandemic [article]

Harjinder Singh Lallie, Lynsay A. Shepherd, Jason R. C. Nurse, Arnau Erola, Gregory Epiphaniou, Carsten Maple, Xavier Bellekens
2020 arXiv   pre-print
The COVID-19 pandemic was a remarkable unprecedented event which altered the lives of billions of citizens globally resulting in what became commonly referred to as the new-normal in terms of societal norms and the way we live and work. Aside from the extraordinary impact on society and business as a whole, the pandemic generated a set of unique cyber-crime related circumstances which also affected society and business. The increased anxiety caused by the pandemic heightened the likelihood of
more » ... ber-attacks succeeding corresponding with an increase in the number and range of cyber-attacks. This paper analyses the COVID-19 pandemic from a cyber-crime perspective and highlights the range of cyber-attacks experienced globally during the pandemic. Cyber-attacks are analysed and considered within the context of key global events to reveal the modus-operandi of cyber-attack campaigns. The analysis shows how following what appeared to be large gaps between the initial outbreak of the pandemic in China and the first COVID-19 related cyber-attack, attacks steadily became much more prevalent to the point that on some days, 3 or 4 unique cyber-attacks were being reported. The analysis proceeds to utilise the UK as a case study to demonstrate how cyber-criminals leveraged key events and governmental announcements to carefully craft and design cyber-crime campaigns.
arXiv:2006.11929v1 fatcat:hgmngnkemjfgxmi3t6hfxlvehm