UK phishing could be halved by acting on compromise data

Phishing attacks originating from the UK could be halved if companies act on alerts from the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) and partners who have identified compromised UK servers.

The NCA and the police, working with partners from across industry and the public sector, have identified 5,531 compromises on UK servers that enable them to be used to send out spam email, launch attacks against websites or servers, or install phishing websites to gain access to sensitive information.

Customised intelligence reports have been produced by the NCA for internet hosting companies and service providers, using data from the UK's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-UK) and the Shadowserver Foundation. 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 Police Service of Northern Ireland. People will be notified of compromises on their systems and advised on subscribing to customised live threat data feeds.

Andy Archibald, deputy director of the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit, said in a statement to press: “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 to develop the most effective ways of combating those threats.

“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.”

National Policing Lead for Cybercrime, Deputy Chief Constable Peter Goodman added: ”Across the country, specialist cyber investigation teams in our ROCUs have developed the capability to take on cyber-criminals and put a stop to their activity.....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.”

Richard Perlotto, director of the Shadowserver Foundation, commented: “We believe that information sharing and long term private/public partnerships are essential to successfully fighting cybercrime. Having provided free daily notification reports to network owners, national CERTs and law enforcement agencies worldwide for over ten years, we are very pleased to be able to support the NCCU in their unprecedented operation to mitigate cyber threats in the UK.”