Email phishing

Just one day after the National Cyber Security Center launches Suspicious email monitoring services, 83 cybercriminal websites have been taken down.

More than 80 phishing and spam websites related to coronavirus were removed one day only when the UK National Cyber Security Center asked the public to report suspicious emails.

On Tuesday, the NCSC launched a ‘Suspicious Email Reporting Service,’ in collaboration with the government and the City of London Police, which urges the authorities to warn about possible cyber attacks and scams, be they coronavirus linked or something else.

Today, just 24 hours after the service came online, over 5,000 warnings of compromised websites were provided by the NCSC – and 83 cybercriminal campaigns were disbanded. This refers to the 2,000 already brought down.

“The immediate take-up of our new national reporting service shows that the UK is united in its defence against callous attempts to trick people online,” said NCSC CEO Ciaran Martin.

“We hope the success of the Suspicious Email Reporting Servicedeters criminals from such scams, but if you do receive something that doesn’t look right forward the message to us – you will be helping to protect the UK from email scams and cyber crime,” he added.

E-mails submitted to report@phishing.gov.uk are reviewed using an automated program, and the NCSC acts to delete them if it is detected as suspicious-to deter cyber-criminals from developing malicious services that are mainly used to deal with coronavirus fears.

“This new service allows the public to take the power back from the criminal, and it’s fantastic so many people have utilised it already,” said said Commander Karen Baxter of City of London Police.

While the total number of phishing emails and malicious websites has not increased, cyber criminals increasingly use coronavirus to lure unsuspecting victims to provide login credentials, data on their payment card and other personal information.

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The coronavirus pandemic has also contributed to large numbers of companies allowing people to work home – often with little knowledge of operating remotely and with the possible health hazards they might be unaware of.

In addition to e-mail coverage, the NCSC has issued six tips to help people stay safe online. They are as follows:

  • Turn on two-factor authentication for important accounts
  • Protect important accounts using a password of three random words
  • Create a separate password that you only use for your main email account
  • Update the software and apps on your devices regularly (ideally set to ‘automatically update’)
  • Save your passwords in your browser
  • To protect yourself from being held to ransom, back up important data

 

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