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UK’s NCSC Hails Another Successful Year of Cyber Defense

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has dismantled tens of thousands of phishing campaigns and fraudulent websites over the past year as its Active Cyber Defence (ACD) program continues to lead by example globally.

In an update on Tuesday, the GCHQ off-shoot revealed a successful second year for the initiative.

It dismantled over 22,000 phishing campaigns hosted in UK IP space, linked to over 142,000 attacks, and removed more than 14,000 phishing sites, as part of an overall takedown of over 192,000 fraudulent sites – most (64%) of which were offline within 24 hours.

The NCSC also pointed to a 100-fold increase in the number of web checks run, with a total of 111, 853 advisories issued to public sector users. This comes on top of a Protective DNS service which now prevents 1.4m public sector employees from visiting malicious sites, DMARC to prevent email attacks, and other initiatives designed to bolster the security of the UK’s internet space and set an example for other governments.

“By taking down phishing and malware attacks when we see them in UK IP space, regardless of the brand abused, we intend to make the UK a more difficult place to host these attacks. While in and of itself this doesn’t affect the global attacks against the UK, we hope to lead by example,” the report claimed.

“If we can show that a relatively simple set of actions can make a delegated IP space a harder place to host badness, we can get on our high horse and try to get other responsible countries and entities to do similar things. Coordinated action would make hosting badness globally much harder and therefore increase the cost of launching these attacks in the first place and reduce the return on investment.”

The NCSC is not stopping there: it’s working with Action Fraud to produce a new automated fraud reporting system for the public; developing an Internet Weather Centre to provide insight into the digital landscape of the UK; and producing a vulnerability scanning tool for CNI and public sector providers.

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