More and more internet users are searching for and visiting sites concerning hacking and cybercrime, new research has revealed.
A report from CyberNews.com found that interest in dark web and hacking sites rose during the months of March, April and May 2020 as the coronavirus lockdown took hold around the world.
There was also a significant spike in search terms around cybercrime, with the upward trends suggesting that interest is only set to continue as the lockdowns extend.
Investigating Google Trends and SimilarWeb statistics, CyberNews noted that web searches related to hacking, scamming, and other forms of cybercrime all increased dramatically.
Searches for “hacking course” and “ethical hacking course” hit all-time highs, while other cybercrime-related terms like “how to get on dark web,” “how to scam,” and “learn hacking” have been experiencing their highest numbers in searches in five years or more.
Moreover, search queries for other keywords related to learning cybercrime, such as “how to hack,” “how to become a hacker,” “hacking tutorial,” and “empire market” (the largest dark web marketplace in the world), also saw dramatic increases during March and April.
CyberNews added that visits to popular hacker websites and forums also saw a significant rise. Although the statistics showed visits to some of the busiest sites fell during the months of January and February, traffic in March rose by up 66 percent.
“As interest in cybercrime continues to climb during the coronavirus pandemic, the ranks of newly minted cybercriminals will continue to grow,” the company noted.
“This is particularly relevant in a time when buying and owning malware is easier than ever. And when so much more people express their interest in becoming a cybercriminal, neither businesses nor individuals should stay reactive when it comes to cybersecurity. It’s time to take a more proactive approach.”