UK wide law enforcement helps industry and the public to protect against cyber crime

The National Crime Agency (NCA) and police, together with a range of partners from across law enforcement, industry and the public sector, are this week carrying out a range of activity to help businesses and members of the public guard against cyber crime.

The analysis has so far identified that there are 5,531 compromises on servers within the UK each of which can be used to send out spam email, launch attacks against websites or servers, or install phishing websites to gain access to sensitive information. With phishing representing one of the most common cyber-crime threats to the public and businesses, the NCA estimates that businesses acting on this advice could between them, clean up approximately half of the estimated phishing attacks typically found in the UK each month.

Following a number of high profile malware threats to the UK, the NCA is conducting this activity to proactively assist network administrators who manage key parts of the UK internet infrastructure. The reports will be issued by officers mobilised from ten police Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs), comprised of 43 individual police forces, as well as Police Scotland and Police Service of Northern Ireland. They will notify businesses of cyber-crime threats on their systems and will also include information on how they can subscribe to customised live data feeds relating to threats on their networks.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has worked with four police forces to hold cyber-security pop-up shops in London, Reading, Derby and Manchester this weekend for people to bring along their digital devices for a free health check and to get advice on online banking, virus protection and protecting yourself online.  The pop-up shops enable people to get advice from a range of cyber experts from law enforcement bodies, banks, cyber security firms and information services such as Cyber Streetwise and Get Safe Online.  The pop-up information shop locations and dates are:

  • London – Westfield London shopping centre, Shepherds Bush – 06 March
  • Manchester – Trafford Centre – 06 – 07 March
  • Derby – Derby Theatre, Intu shopping centre – 06 – 07 March
  • Reading – Broad Street Mall – 06 – 07 March

Malware clean-up tools for businesses and members of the public, as well as information and advice on many aspects of online safety, are available at  www.cyberstreetwise.com and www.getsafeonline.org. Online crime can be reported at www.actionfraud.police.uk

Andy Archibald, Deputy Director of the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, said: “Behind this week’s activity is the message that all of us, as individuals, businesses or law enforcement agencies, have a role to play in making the UK a safe place to enjoy the huge opportunities provided by the internet. We will continue to work with partners to pursue and disrupt the major crime groups targeting the UK, but also, crucially, to make the UK as difficult as possible a target for cyber criminals in the first place.”

Tom Mullen, Head of Cyber Response for O2 said: “It’s great to see that law enforcement are taking the initiative and providing awareness and free health checks for the general  public, helping them secure themselves against cyber criminals who steal their data and access their accounts to commit fraud.  This work will also help businesses, as a lot of compromised machines are used in larger attacks against corporates and SMBs. Some compromised machines are also used to send spam and phishing e-mails, which we all know about and find very annoying and hard to stop, so this awareness on digital security will help alleviate the problem for everyone.  Cybercrime is still relatively new but it’s a growing area for both civil and criminal investigations, digital policing is evolving and one of the major ways to combat this is awareness, so this is a great step by the NCA”.

Learn how to protect yourself, your family and your business at www.cyberstreetwise.com

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