With unemployment rates skyrocketing across the world as prolonged COVID-19 lockdowns continue to wreck the global economy, people who are forced to stay at home without a source of income are beginning to learn new skills to sustain themselves.
Our research discovered that while millions are simply trying to make themselves more employable in the digital job market by signing up for online courses, others appear to be increasingly looking at cybercrime as a potential source of income. Recent data has indicated that during the months of March, April, and May, searches related to hacking, scamming, and other forms of cybercrime were through the roof, with breakout search terms like “hacking course” and “ethical hacking course” reaching all-time highs. Moreover, visits to popular hacker websites and forums increased by up to 66% in March.
However, it seems that this might be just the beginning, which suggests an even more increased interest in becoming a cybercriminal in the near future. While the overall number of people affected by cybercrime is steadily growing every year, 2020 might prove to be the year when the ranks of cybercriminals spike exponentially due to the economic downturns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.