University of Twente Student Theses


The impact of the Corona-pandemic on the business model of cybercrime

Laan, Jip (2021) The impact of the Corona-pandemic on the business model of cybercrime.

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Abstract:The goal of this thesis was to understand what the impact of the Corona-pandemic has been on cybercrime. The thesis focused on a subset of cybercrime, namely phishing. It was hypothesized that cybercriminals made use of the Corona-pandemic to increase their revenue gathered from cybercrime. It was tested whether they adapted to the Corona-pandemic by adjusting their phishing-campaigns accordingly. This was done by making use of a term-frequency analysis. Unique mentions of selected keywords were plotted and analyzed how they evolved over time. In particular we tested whether there was a significant change before the Corona-pandemic and after/during the Corona-pandemic. The following categories were analyzed in this manner: “Corona-related mentions”, “Medical and protection equipment”, “Financials”, “Order and delivery scams” and “Dating, beauty and care”. We found that all the categories increased during the Corona-pandemic except for the category “Dating, beauty and care”. This category had decreased. We also found that the intensity of phishing emails increased during the Corona-pandemic. The results suggest that cybercriminals stepped up their game by both increasing the amount of phishing emails and adapted their phishing campaigns to match what was happening in the world during the Corona-pandemic.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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