Fake cryptocurrency investment offers account for more than half of all online scams detected through reporting from the public, the National Cyber Security Centre has confirmed.
The one million milestone was racked up in just two months with the influx of cryptocurrency investment scams among a range of online threats which have been blocked.
More than half of the 10,000 online links to scams blocked or taken down by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) are for cryptocurrency schemes, where investors are promised high returns in return for buying blockchain currency such as Bitcoin.
Phillip Hay, head of threat intelligence analysis at Mimecast said that email remains a “key vector” for cybercriminals and it is no surprise to see so many phishing emails reported to the NCSC.
Hay said: “At Mimecast, our recent State of Email Security report found that 60 percent of organisations believe it’s inevitable or likely they will suffer from an email-borne attack in the coming year. The same study found that 72 percent said phishing attacks remained flat or increased in the last 12 months. This is also exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to a real uptick in email-borne attacks. Our research found that detections were up a third during the first 100 days of the pandemic.”
Hay added that security leaders need to invest in a strategy that builds resilience moving at the same pace as digital transformation.
He said: “This means organisations must apply a layered approach to email security, one that consists of attack prevention, security awareness training, roaming web security tied to email efficacy, brand exploitation protection, threat remediation and business continuity.”
The scheme launched in April as part of the Government’s Cyber Aware campaign, receiving a daily average of 16,500 emails.
While cryptocurrency scams are the main scams detected, there have been cases of fake online shops and spoofs involving brands such as TV Licensing, HMRC, Gov.uk and the DVLA.
The figures show that 10 percent of the scams were removed within an hour of an email being reported, and 40 percent were down within a day of a report.
Some 10,200 malicious URLs linked to 3,485 web sites have been.
The service was co-developed with the City of London Police and will also support UK policing with a live time analysis of reports and identifying new patterns in online offending.
Commander Karen Baxter, from the City of London Police, said: “Unquestionably, a vast number of frauds will have been prevented, thanks to the public reporting all these phishing attempts. Not only that, but it has allowed for vital intelligence to be collected by police and demonstrates the power of working together when it comes to stopping fraudsters in their tracks.”
Paul McEvatt, senior threat and intelligence manager, Fujitsu EMEIA said million mark was a “stark reminder” that even in a time of global crisis cybercriminals have ramped…