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Cybersecurity Attacks During COVID-19: An Analysis of the Behavior of the Human Factors and a Proposal of Hardening Strategies


During the COVID-19 pandemic, fake news has increased considerably. Although fake news is a social problem that has existed for a long time, in the COVID-19 context, it has put people’s lives at risk. Nowadays, a massive amount of information is available, and organizations attempt to send official statements to citizens. However, some factors can support people’s decision to accept an idea as real even though it will be risky. This study is exploratory and descriptive research that aims to establish the human factors that make the standard user susceptible to cyber-attacks in times of pandemic. A literature review of cybersecurity attacks and conflict scenarios registered during the COVID-19 pandemic was first applied during the investigation. After coding them, the Diamond Model was applied, representing the analysis of cybersecurity intrusions, which emphasizes the relationships and features of the four main elements of an intrusion: adversary, infrastructure, capacity, and victim. With this input, several innovative strategies are proposed to minimize attacks by advanced threat actors and their impact on users. These strategies are useful for governments to improve communication with citizens and develop critical thinking on citizens to face fake news.


  • Fake news
  • Human factor behavior
  • COVID-19
  • Hardening strategies

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-71381-2_3
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We want to thank the resources granted for developing the research project entitled “Detection and Mitigation of Social Engineering attacks applying Cognitive Security, Code: PIC-ESPE-2020-Social-Engineering.” The authors would also like to thank the financial support of the Ecuadorian Corporation for the Development of Research and the Academy (RED CEDIA) in the development of this study within the Project Grant GT-Cybersecurity.

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Correspondence to Roberto O. Andrade .

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Andrade, R.O., Cazares, M., Fuertes, W. (2021). Cybersecurity Attacks During COVID-19: An Analysis of the Behavior of the Human Factors and a Proposal of Hardening Strategies. In: Daimi, K., Peoples, C. (eds) Advances in Cybersecurity Management. Springer, Cham.

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