Government Initiative Promises Rapid Blocking of Scam Sites

The UK’s leading security agency is trumpeting a new industry partnership that should make Brits safer from online scam.

The National Cyber Security Centre, part of spy agency GCHQ, said the new offering would share real-time threat data with internet service providers (ISPs), enabling them to instantly block access to known fraudulent sites.

All ISPs in the country will be able to use the new service, which will be expanded to include managed service providers (MSPs) and browser providers.

The capability will complement the NCSC’s Takedown Service which removed 2.7 million scams from the internet last year, it revealed this week.

Although these scams are often spread via email or social media, they usually link to a web page, which is where the ISP blocking comes in.

Among the most common blocked by the NCSC’s Active Cyber Defence (ACD) program last year were fake celebrity endorsements and bogus extortion emails, many using NHS vaccines and vaccine passports as a lure.

Prior to the newly announced data sharing service, the NCSC would collect data from spam and phishing scans related to specific domains and then work with hosting providers to remove malicious sites and infrastructure.

Another key source of intelligence is the agency’s Suspicious Email Reporting Service, which encourages organizations to forward any scam emails to the NCSC, and its website reporting tool, which offers the same capability for suspicious URLs.

“Cyber-criminals continuously seek to deploy devious methods to trick us into sharing personal or financial details and it’s vital we stay ahead of them,” argued NCSC deputy director for economy and society, Sarah Lyons.

“This landmark partnership with internet service providers means that scams can be blocked from ever reaching our screens and reinforces the UK’s armor in protecting the public from online harms.”

BT’s security chief welcomed the news.

“Online scams continue to cause massive harm, from the financial losses suffered by individuals and businesses, through to the continued erosion of our trust in the internet and the communications we receive,” argued BT Security MD, Kevin Brown. Read more: https://bit.ly/38l39rB

You can also read this: UK Government Security Experts Take Down 2.7 Million Scams

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