What You Need to Know About the Rise of Coronavirus-Based Cybercrime

As of March 30, 2020, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had received, reviewed, and reported on more than 1,200 complaints related to COVID-19 cybersecurity attacks. These numbers have since continued to increase as companies and remote workers alike have attempted to move online without securing externally-accessed systems or confidential data. 

In this brief article, the best federal criminal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg with The Rickman Law Firm will discuss what you need to know in order to prevent yourself from being accused of a coronavirus-based cybercrime. 

Related: What is a Federal Cybercrime?

What Types of Cybercrime Are Experiencing a Spike?

To best protect yourself from being accused of coronavirus-based cybercrime, it is important to understand what types of cybercrime are experiencing a spike due to the pandemic. The most common threats during these unprecedented times can be broken down into two categories: malicious emails and malicious domains. Malicious emails include any emails that appear to be from a trusted source tricking the user into clicking on a link or asking that sensitive information or money be sent by return email. Malicious domains, on the other hand, are any domains designed to look like a professional website and obtain personal information or money in the process. 

Malware, ransomware, spyware, and Trojans all fall under the umbrella of malicious emails. The goal is to trick the user into unknowingly downloading malware to their devices or expose some vulnerability in the system, leading to compromised employee credentials. While malicious domains can be used to spread malware or compromise command and control centers, primarily they are used in phishing or spam campaigns for donations with domains that contain the terms: “coronavirus,” “covid19”, and “corona-virus.”

How Can You Avoid Becoming a Victim?

Whenever cybercrime is on the rise, it places a large pressure on law enforcement to persecute those who they suspect may be involved. Mistakes can and will be made in determining who should be charged with cybercrime. In order to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of cybercrime and subsequently being accused of a federal crime, it is of the utmost importance to be more cautious than ever. IC3 recommends performing the following actions: 

  • Verify the web address of legitimate websites and manually type these addresses into your browser rather than clicking links within emails
  • Change default passwords to unique passwords with two-factor authentication, if possible
  • Report suspicious activity on work computers to your employer
  • Ensure your devices have anti-virus software installed and operating
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi access points to access sensitive information
  • Check for misspelled domain names within a link

If you have been accused of a coronavirus-based cybercrime or believe you may be under investigation for committing a coronavirus-based cybercrime, now is the time to consult with the best federal criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg. This will be your best defense against serious fines, lengthy prison sentences, and the loss of your job, just to name a few. 

For a free consultation with the best federal criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. 


Schedule Consultation

Case Results

Violation of Probation Dismissed

Hillsborough County 10-CF-1182
Show More


The Client was charged with Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance and Felony Possession of a Drug Without a Prescription. Attorney Anthony Rickman convinced the State not to prosecute and the charges were dismissed.
Show More

Judge Dismissed DUI Charge

The Defendant was charged with a DUI after the deputy forcibly drew her blood. The Defense filed a motion to suppress the results of the blood test on the grounds that the deputy did not
Show More