Government Tackles #COVID19 Scams with Email Reporting Service

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The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has launched what it describes as a “pioneering” Suspicious Email Reporting Service, as users continue to be bombarded by COVID-19-themed phishing attacks.

The scheme is designed to make it easier for members of the public to report online scams including those taking advantage of widespread interest in the coronavirus.

Developed in partnership with the City of London police, the “world-leading” service will enable users to report suspicious emails to, where the NCSC’s automated scanners will assess whether it is malicious or not. If so, any linked phishing sites will be removed immediately.

The service will also provide police with a real-time analysis of phishing patterns to better track and stop campaigns.

The NCSC said it has already been able to take down 2000 COVID-19 online scams over the past month, including: over 470 stores selling fake coronavirus-related items, more than 550 malware distribution sites, 200 phishing sites designed to harvest user info and more than 830 advanced-free fraud attempts.

The announcement came as part of the cross-government “Cyber Aware” campaign launch, which aims to teach best practice cybersecurity tips such as effective password management to computer users.

NCSC CEO, Ciaran Martin, argued that technology will ultimately help society emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, but that makes cybersecurity more important than ever.

“With greater use of technology, there are different ways attackers can harm all of us., but everyone can help to stop them by following the guidance campaign we have launched today. However, even with the best security in place, some attacks will still get through,” he added.

“That’s why we have created a new national reporting service for suspicious emails – and if they link to malicious content, it will be taken down or blocked. By forwarding messages to us, you will be protecting the UK from email scams and cybercrime.”

Google last week claimed to be blocking 18 million malicious and phishing emails for its global customers each day.

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