Numerous scams have been deleted from the internet as part of a campaign to safeguard individuals from fraud and cybercrime. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) claims to have deleted nearly four times as many scams, illegal websites, and phishing services in 2021 as it did in 2020. The number comes to 2.7 million scams.
The increase in takedowns follows the NCSC – the spy agency GCHQ’s cyber branch – expanding efforts to remove dangerous internet information. Fake celebrity endorsement scams, extortion emails, missing delivery hoax text messages, and various other fraudulent and harmful websites are among them. Cyber crooks posing as NCSC CEO Lindy Cameron sent a hoax email to a potential victim, saying that the NCSC had recently stopped £5 million from being stolen from them and needed to reply with personal information to get the monies back. The NCSC was able to dismantle the fraud.
“We know that scammers will go to great lengths and indeed my name has been used to try and trick people, but as we continue to expand our defenses we can see the tangible impact this is having,” said Cameron.
The NCSC also eliminated over 1,400 NHS-themed phishing attacks during the previous year, as cyber thieves tried to dupe consumers with phony communications concerning the COVID-19 vaccination deployment and vaccine passports. Many scam websites and emails are meant to steal sensitive personal information from victims, such as usernames, passwords, contact information, and bank account numbers.
Cybercriminals can use this information to steal money and personal information from victims’ accounts and use it to commit additional fraud, such as taking out loans in their name, causing more problems for the victim. The takedowns are part of the NCSC’s Active Cyber Defence (ACD) program, which aims to keep individuals, organizations, and vital infrastructure safe from attacks. According to the NCSC, the increase in takedowns is due to the development of the defense program rather than a significant rise in frauds.
“The latest ACD figures shine a light on how the NCSC has responded to emerging cyber-threat trends and security issues to keep the UK safe at scale,” Cameron stated. She further said, “we know that scammers will go to great lengths and indeed my name has been used to try to trick people, but – as we continue to expand our defences – we can see the tangible impact this is having.”
The NCSC also prohibited more than 1.2 million domains associated with Android Flubot malware, which usually spreads via text messages, saying the recipient has missed delivery and instructing them to click a link to enter their information to arrange a redelivery. The attackers steal any information supplied on the bogus postal service or delivery agency page.