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Nominet Tackles Cybercrime with 29,000 .UK Domain Suspensions

Nominet suspended nearly 29,000 .uk domains over the past year in its ongoing bid to clean up Britain’s domain name space.

The .uk registry said that between November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2019 it took down 28,937 domains as a result of criminal activity.

The figure is down slightly from the previous year’s 32,813 and represents just 0.22% of the more than 13 million .uk domains currently registered, which Nominet claimed was a sign that the current system is working.

“It’s encouraging to see that our efforts, working closely with the law enforcement community, are having a demonstrable impact on the ability of those intent on causing serious mischief online. We will not tolerate .uk domains being used for criminal activity,” said Nominet CEO, Russell Haworth.

“Suspensions have fallen for the first time since 2014 indicating that using collective established processes combined with technology-driven interventions is, it seems, acting as a deterrent.”

This year the registry received requests from five of the 10 organizations it collaborates with on takedowns.

The vast majority (28,606) came from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) which deals with requests relating to IP infringements, followed by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (178), Trading Standards (90), the Financial Conduct Authority (48) and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (31).

Detective constable Weizmann Jacobs of the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit warned internet users of the dangers of phishing sites and those selling counterfeit goods.

“By collaborative working, we can help protect consumers from the dangers of counterfeit goods and safeguard their personal information when shopping online,” he added.

“In light of the figures Nominet have released, and in the run up to Christmas, we would like to warn online shoppers that there’s more risk when it’s counterfeit. If it looks too good to be true then it probably is; heavily discounted products are often a tell-tale sign that something isn't right.”

The news comes as HMRC this week warned UK taxpayers about an escalation in phishing attempts ahead of the January 31 self-assessment deadline. It claimed to have received nearly 900,000 reports from the public about suspicious contact over the past year — with more than 100,000 of these phone scams, and over 620,000 about bogus tax rebates.

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