NCSC Expands Services To Defend UK From Unprecedented Amount Scams

After addressing more than 2.7 million attempted frauds last year, the United Kingdom’s cybersecurity unit (NCSC) estimated a near-fourfold increase in the figure for 2020.

What is the NCSC expansion?

Fake celebrity endorsements and false extortion emails were among the frauds disrupted, according to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a division of the GCHQ intelligence agency. However, it was underlined that the increase in detection was due to the unit’s active targeting rather than an increase in frauds.

A fraudster attempted to mimic the NCSC’s chief executive, Lindy Cameron. “We know scammers would go to considerable lengths to deceive others, and my name has been used to do so,” she stated.

The scams were investigated as part of the agency’s active cyberdefence programme, which focuses on large-scale attacks on individuals, businesses, and organisations. Phishing tactics are used in the attacks, in which the target is duped into downloading malware or passing over their login credentials, usually by email.

NCSC Statistics

According to the NCSC, Covid-19 triggered an increase in NHS-related frauds. Last year, it deleted over 1,400 NHS-themed phishing efforts, an 11-fold increase over 2020, including fake vaccine rollouts and certificates.

The attempted Cameron scam consisted of a fake email pretending to be from the NCSC chief notifying the recipient that the unit had saved them £5 million in theft and that they should reply with personal details to receive it back.

Fake BBC news page

A “special report” was released on a fake BBC news page with the heading “Jeremy Clarkson provides British people the option to make millions from home,” illustrated with photographs of Phillip Schofield, not the former Top Gear host.

The NCSC also targeted fake extortion emails last year, which falsely claim a victim’s email has been hacked and demand payment.

Scam advertisements will be covered by the upcoming online safety bill, which will oblige the top social media networks to ban paid-for fake advertisements from appearing on their platforms. Advertisements with fake celebrity endorsements fall into this category.

What has been removed?

Along with the elimination of dangerous internet content, the fifth year of ACD’s operations saw the following achievements:

  • More than 1.2 million URLs linked to the Android virus Flubot were blocked; the malware was spread to the general public via ‘missed delivery’ frauds.
  • Early Warning service highlighted 33 million occurrences, indicating that anything potentially harmful or insecure was present on their systems. By the end of 2021, the service had grown to over 4,600 users.
  • The Exercise in a Box toolkit, a programme that lets organisations practise their reaction to a cyber incident has reached a milestone of 10,000 users around the world.

A prominent topic of this year’s CYBERUK is to promote a “whole-of-society approach” to cyber security, which will be addressed through a variety of panels, presentations, and interactive workshops.

More than 1,500 people from industry, academia, and government are expected to attend the first in-person conference since the epidemic, where the community will share their knowledge and experiences and hear from world-renowned cyber experts.

Want more? Another article is available here.

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Arjun Gopireddy
Arjun Gopireddy
Arjun is an Information Security Specialist, and his main role is to support our clients by identifying and advising on mitigating information security risks. Holding a Master’s degree in Cyber Security (UK) and Engineering Management (USA) his knowledge and skills are shared with our clients. Outside of work Arjun likes watching movies, travelling, playing cricket, football and doing adventurous things such as sky diving. He is the biggest fan of Yuvraj Singh – a former Indian international cricketer.
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