An analysis on the Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Cybercrime and Cyberspaces
Cybercrimes and cyberspace, in general, have constantly been evolving as users take advantage of new trends and behaviors. Therefore, the Covid-19 outbreak was an opportunity that was exploited by cybercriminals and other cyber users in the space. A cyber-crime is any crime involving a network and a computer, whereby the computers are used to commission the crime. Get legit paper writing services today!
The consequence of such a crime is harm to an individual’s financial health and security. A common type of cybercrimes is cyberstalking and harassment. Other threats involved in cyber-crime include privacy invasion, defamation, and threats. In the case of cyber-crime, computers are used as both the tool and the target of criminals. It would be important to analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cyber-crimes and cyberspace in general.
Cyberspace is the interconnectedness of digital technology, making the online space part of the reality of society at large. With social media, socio interactions are increasingly taking in cyberspace. While analyzing the impact of the Covid-19 on cyberspace, it is important to understand s the classification of cybercrimes. Computer crimes are activities that encompass the use of computers for criminal intents.
One type of cyber-crime is financial fraud crimes, which is the fraudulent representation of information causing a loss to the victims. Cyber terrorism involves the intimidation of people of government organizations to accomplish social and political objectives. Cyber extortion involves the targeting of computer systems with malicious attacks. Cybersex trafficking, on the other hand, involves sexual coercion to an individual who was transported involuntarily.
In analyzing the evolution of cyberspace and cybercrime, it is important to understand the concepts of target adaptation and cyber place adaptation. Target adaptation is where the cybercriminals target their effort on the vulnerable internet users.
The larger concept refers to cyber criminals changing their strategies with cyberspace. During the Covid-19 pandemic, cybercriminals have been foiled pretending to be the World Health Organization (Tavani, 2016). Therefore, the growing interest in the pandemic motivates cybercriminals to exploit it for financial gain.
The Covid-19 pandemic has rendered both individuals and socially vulnerable. Cyber-criminal have taken advantage of the pandemic where the use of computers has increased with the increased social distancing recommendation. Cybercriminals exploit the Covid-19 pandemic by creating domains that indicate the legitimacy of information of the pandemic.
One type of cyberattack involves malicious domains, with a rising trend in the use of terminology like “covid,” “corona-virus,” “covid-19”, and “covid19”. Trojans, spyware, and malware are often embedded in interactive Covid-19 websites and maps. Spamming campaigns are often carried in spreading malware and misinformation of the Covid-19 Pandemic. This type of cyber-crime is closely related to the First Amendment that guarantees every American the freedom of expression.
Therefore, it is important to understand why the purchase of certain domain names would be referred to as miss information. This is an indication of the strictness of society in general on information relating to the pandemic. This could be termed as a civil rights violation.
Additionally, the freedom of expression should not compromise the security of Americans. Spamming emails are often sent with the covid-19 pandemic, which tricks computer users downloading malware. Ransomware has been used on public institutions, hospitals, and medical centers to extort them (Farries, 2017). Such attacks tend to compromise the patient and employment information, which leads to the computer system’s increased vulnerability.
With the increased negative impact of the pandemic on the mental health of most members of society, cases of cyber harassment have increased. It involves repeated and persistent conduct targeting individuals, causing them emotional distress and fear of physical harm. Therefore the harasser can terrorize the victim by threatening them with violence. They can also invade the victim’s privacy by publishing sensitive information on them.
They may also alter their reputation in such a manner that the cyber mob descends upon them something that causes long-term emotional distress. It is important to note that the harasser may be facing elevated emotional distress, which leads them to commit the cyber-crimes (Lee, 2021). The distress caused to the harassed individual may compromise their mental health. The harassers are often well known to them, for example, an individual they were in a romantic relationship with the harassed individual.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has altered the social norms of the society at large. Due to the impact on business, there have been elevated cyber-crime rates. Additionally, the pandemic has led to increased anxiety in society, which has increased the number of cyber-attacks. Europol has targeted individuals who exploited the Covid-19 pandemic for profit, a crime known as pandemic profiteering.
This is because the pandemic has created a surreal situation that has left more people vulnerable to the pandemic (Citron, 2014). Cyber-criminal often exploits that most individuals are working for their homes. This leaves the organization’s details vulnerable to theft. Therefore one of the most common causes of cybercrime is the pursuit of financial gain.
Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to the intense growth of e-commerce as individuals opt to purchase goods online. Therefore the more the youth spend online, the more they attract cybercriminals to the popular online spaces. Another type of cybercriminal is the harassers who access their victims online due to the increased use of computers for entertainment and education purposes. More activities occur in the cyber space due to the pandemic (Lee, 2021).
Additionally, with the reduced opportunities in the physical spaces, the prominence of cybercrime among criminals has increased significantly. There was an increase in romance-related cyber-crimes, crimes against children in the streaming platforms, threats of violence, healthcare, copyright, misrepresentation, and the non-payment for deliveries. The denial of service attacks increased by 30 percent between 2019 and 2020.
The hacking of social media and emails increased by seventy-eight percent, with the dial throughout increasing by over fifty percent before and during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Online auction and shopping-related cyber-crimes increased by fifty percent while some crimes were reduced; for example, computer spyware reduced significantly during the pandemic (Collier et al., 2020)
After analyzing the impact of the Covid-19 on cyberspace, this paper concludes that there has been an increased instance of cyber-crime. This is as the criminals take advantage of the increased online digital interaction targeting their prey. Additionally, the pandemic has compromised Americans’ mental health, which has increased the incidence of cyber-crime.
Therefore, as cyberspace becomes more popular, cyber-crime becomes more prevalent. The natural environment is often safer due to physical distance, while most people are accessible in cyberspaces. Poor mental health has made individual-related cyber-attacks more prevalent. It is important if the government and the society at largely increased vigilance against cybercrime to guarantee the safety of Americans.
- Citron, D. K. (2014). ADDRESSING CYBER HARASSMENT: AN OVERVIEW OF HATE CRIMES IN CYBERSPACE. Journal of Law, Technology and the Internet, 1+. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A539036434/AONE?u=esc&sid=bookmark-AONE&xid=5f358095
- Collier, B., Horgan, S., Jones, R., & Shepherd, L. (2020). The implications of the covid-19 pandemic for cybercrime policing in scotland: a rapid review of the evidence and future considerations. Scottish Institute for Policing Research.
- Farries, E. (2017). Hate crimes in cyberspace Danielle Keats Citron. Feminism & Psychology, 27(4), 571–573.
- Lee, C. S. (2021). Analyzing Zoombombing as a new communication tool of cyberhate in the COVID-19 era. Online Information Review.
- Tavani, H. T. (2016). Ethics and technology. Wiley.