Security in a Corona-virus crisis

For most of us, the Corona-virus crisis meant keeping distance and working from home. But, what impact has the crisis had on areas such as terrorism and cybercrime? See the Danish trends here.


Cybercrime

The Corona-virus crisis has facilitated the ‘work’ of cybercriminals, who have been exploiting the current situation to create various scams.


- There have been numerous cyberattacks, particularly at the beginning of the crisis. Perpetrators analysed the context and adapted their language and wording to match the tone of the authorities. They tried to get people to log on to fake sites using e-mails that looked like they came from the authorities and were important and correct, says Anja Kivac, Project Manager at the security department of the Danish Institute of Fire and Security Technology (DBI).


Clever use of the right language combined with our hunger for news about the Corona-virus resulted in more people than usual clicking on false links. But working from home is also part of the explanation.


- Things are done in a particular way in the workplace, and at the dining table at home, you don't feel as if you're at work, so you drop your guard. When you're in an unfamiliar situation, you're more likely to make mistakes, e.g. click on links that you wouldn't normally click on. At the same time, many people have had their children at home, which can also be distracting, says Anja Kivac.


The same applies to mobile phones where fraudulent text messages have become rampant. Lots of people have ordered more parcels than usual and have, therefore, been more susceptible to text messages about parcel collection. When the person clicks on the link, it turns out to be malicious.


- As many people have not been on the company's network, but their own, it is primarily private individuals who have been affected, and not companies as a whole. In general, however, the authorities have been quick to detect and warn the public about threats from e-mails and text messages, says Anja Kivac.


Burglaries

It has not just been in the digital world that the Corona-virus has had an effect. Burglars also accepted the advice to stay at home, albeit probably less willingly than everyone else. In Denmark, burglary rates have fallen by a quarter compared to the same period last year. As someone known to the police said during questioning:


- It's hard to find a house where there isn't someone at home.


Terrorist threat

On 20 March, the Danish Security and Intelligence Service, PET, issued a new assessment of the threat from terror against Denmark, and this remains at a serious level.


- During a crisis like the Corona-virus, terrorists who may be planning attacks against our country are still out there. But society's focus changes during a crisis. The intention of terrorism is to attract attention and hit symbolic target or populations. Many public places have been closed and gatherings have been limited, so one would imagine that they are saving their energy and will hold off carrying out terrorist attacks until the crisis has passed, says Jesper Florin, head of the security department at DBI.


However, there has been a slight increase in terrorist-related propaganda online, as many people have been at home and searched for information and knowledge. Various terrorist organisations have tried to exploit this by increasing the flow of information in their online forums.


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