echo August 4, 2020 7:15 AM

CCC COVID Briefing Papers are an ongoing series of short-form, open access reports aimed at academics,policymakers, and practitioners, which aim to provide an accessible summary of our ongoing research into the effects which the coronavirus pandemic (and government responses) are having on cybercrime.Increases in activity on cybercrime forums appear to be linked to increased levels of boredom and free time in lockdown, with many schools and workplaces closed. Although the spike in posting appears to have been fairly short-lived, coinciding with the beginning of lockdown, underneath this lies a clear and sustained change to patterns of activity, with a large increase in the proportion of posts made during working hours.

A case of “make your own fun” versus “idle hands make for the devils work”? Personally, I’ve been finding things to do among a little belt tightening including things which are long overdue attention around the house and garden. I’ve also been spending money on investment items for after lockdown.

There’s commentary and academic papers on “boredom”. Why do I feel like I’m the only person who reads them?

There is a clear change to activity patterns on cybercrime forums, with increased posting linked to activitybeing spread into working and school hours. This indicates that lockdown, and the associated increases inboredom and free time, are having significant effects on the routine activities of the users of cybercrimeforums. We suggest this explains some of the macro-level changes in cybercrime rates we observe.

While “bored” criminals have been making hay it doesn’t mean the rest of us have been sitting on our idle backsides.

I’m currently trying to arrange a meeting with the police either in person with safety protocols in place or online. The state sector has traditionally resisted change and been very slow to grasp technology but there are pressures across the system like ministerial and social pressure for the uptake of things like video calls higher.

I’m ticked off that open protocols like SIP tend not to be used but the police have heard of Skype and use Teams so this was a step forward. The email I received today was a bit of no-go with Skype and I would have to wait on an in-person meeting. I’ve just been doing the police IT support and customer service role myself this morning (unpaid I might add) as I’ve been researching interoperability and admin permissions. Yes they can talk to one another and yes a free version of teams can talk with them too but it depends on how they have set their permissions up. I’ll need to write this up including something fairly simple covering “adequacy” and “reasonable adjustments”.

No I won’t initially be mentioning the law surrounding security of the material I want to discuss nor the need to seperate internal business systems from customer facing internet systems and I’m probably not going to. Not yet anyway. I find too many people understand it and actually want to get on with something important not generate more avoidable pre-conditions and difficulties and be tied up in the back and forth of bureaucracy for the next six months. Police handling of legally privileged information and security is a roadcrash at the best of times. Not that police security isn’t passable for the task or that I need quantum encrypted hardlines or anything. I just don’t want to multiply problems for something which should be both easy and secure and routine and none proprietory. Noted on here for anyone paying attention.

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