Cyber security in the age of COVID-19: A timeline and analysis of cyber crime and cyber attacks during the pandemic

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, three or four unique cyber attacks were being reported. The analysis proceeds to utilise the UK as a case study to demonstrate how cyber criminals leveraged salient events and governmental announcements to carefully craft and execute cyber crime campaigns.