Cyber criminals are usually quick to take advantage of anything dramatic happening in the world because that’s when their targets are most emotional, feeling unsafe, and tend to make impulsive decisions. COVID-19 is no exception – it was quickly harnessed to spread malware.
The methods are universal for such threats: spam, scam, phishing and advanced persistent threats. The topic, in this case COVID-19, works only as a variable. Cyber criminals target:
- irrational people who are trying to find alternative or better-than-official solutions
- careful people who are looking for information and responsible institutions
- institutions themselves, as they can serve as a hub to access a lot of user data and are currently under extreme pressure, creating conditions for overlooked security gaps
It’s important to realize that users’ increased attention toward a trending topic creates a field of possibilities for cyber criminals.