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UK cybersecurity agency blocks record number of online scams

Written by Thu 12 May 2022

More than 2.7 million online scam campaigns were removed from the internet last year as a result of the GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) expanding its Active Cyber Defence programme. According to the NCSC, the numbers of scams eliminated in 2021 increased by close to 400%, compared to 2020.

A wide array of scams were removed thanks to the growth of the UK’s cyber defences, with fake celebrity endorsement scams, phishing emails and scams related to NHS vaccines and vaccine passports being popular scams.

“Over the past five years, our Active Cyber Defence (ACD) programme has been central to preventing millions of cyber attacks from causing harm to the UK,” said Dr Ian Levy, NCSC Technical Director.

Dr Levy also called for closer collaboration between private sector companies and the UK’s cybersecurity agency to support work in taking down and blocking malicious websites.

“As ACD continues to grow and innovate, we strongly encourage the private sector to work even more closely with us to enhance the effectiveness of our services to take down and block malicious websites.”

Scammers took advantage of the vaccine rollout in the UK by attempting to trick people with fraudulent messages about vaccine certificates and the vaccine rollout. The NCSC stamped out more than 1,400 NHS-themed phishing campaigns last year, an 11-fold increase on 2020.

According to the NCSC, the significant increase in the number of scam campaigns being removed is in part due to their Takedown Service being able to remove a wider range of malicious online content types, as well as the removal of over 1.2 million domains linked with the Android malware Flubot.

Written by Thu 12 May 2022


cyber crime
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