Together with a range of partners from across industry and the public sector, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the police service are this week carrying out a range of activities designed to help businesses and members of the public guard against cyber crime.
The NCA has developed customised intelligence reports for Internet hosting companies and service providers, acting on data provided by CERT-UK (The UK’s Computer Emergency Response Team) and the Shadowserver Foundation.
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 e-mail, launch attacks against websites or servers or install phishing websites designed to gain access to sensitive information.
With phishing representing one of the most common cyber crime threats to members of the public and businesses, the NCA estimates that organisations acting on this advice could, between them, clean up to half of the phishing attacks that typically originate from 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’s Internet infrastructure.
The reports will be issued by officers from ten police Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs), comprised of 43 individual police forces, as well as Police Scotland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. They will notify businesses of cyber crime threats on their systems and also include information on how they can subscribe to customised live threat data feeds.
Programme of industry engagement
This work is part of the NCA’s and the police service’s wider ongoing programme of engagement with industry partners, including Internet Service Providers, banks and security firms to collaboratively tackle crime threats to the UK and help facilitate a clean up of the UK’s Internet infrastructure.
The Association of Chief Police Officers has worked with four police forces to hold cyber security pop-up shops in London, Reading, Derby and Manchester this coming weekend (details below). Anyone can bring along their digital devices for a free health check and to gain advice on online banking, virus protection and protecting themselves online. The pop-up shops enable people to glean advice from a range of cyber experts emanating from law enforcement bodies, banks, cyber security firms and popular information services such as Cyber Streetwise and Get Safe Online.
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. Awareness of the type of cyber crime dangers which are out there is vital, whoever you are, as is collaboration between organisations across different sectors, regions and countries in order to develop the most effective ways of combating those threats.”
Archibald added: “We will continue to work with our partners to pursue and disrupt the major crime groups targeting the UK, but also, and most crucially, to make the UK as difficult as possible a target for cyber criminals in the first place.”
Building awareness around cyber criminality prevention
Deputy chief constable Peter Goodman, the National Policing Lead for Cyber Crime, explained: “Across the country, specialist cyber investigation teams in our ROCUs have developed the capability to take on the cyber criminals and put an end to their activity. The Internet is an incredible resource for all of us and we want the public to have confidence in the digital space. We can give them that confidence by relentlessly targeting those who use the Internet to commit crime.”
Concluding his statement, Goodman said: “We alone cannot prevent people being targeted by cyber criminals. Nor can we can mitigate all the effects of an attack. On that basis, it’s important that everyone does what they can to avoid falling victim to the cyber criminals. I hope as many people possible make the most of the free advice being offered around the country this coming Friday and Saturday.”
Richard Perlotto, director of the Shadowserver Foundation, explained: “We believe that information sharing and long term private-public partnerships are essential to successfully fighting cyber crime. Having provided free daily notification reports to network owners, national CERTs and law enforcement agencies worldwide for over ten years now, we’re very pleased to be able to support the National Cyber Crime Unit in its unprecedented operation to mitigate cyber threats in the UK.”
The pop-up information shop locations and dates are as follows:
*London: Westfield London Shopping Centre, Shepherds Bush – 6 March
*Manchester: Trafford Centre – 6-7 March
*Derby: Derby Theatre, Intu Shopping Centre – 6-7 March
*Reading: Broad Street Mall – 6-7 March