NCSC Warded Off 658 Cyber Attacks Last Year

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has revealed that it has defended the UK against 658 cyber attacks in the past 12 months. 

Many of the attacks are said to have come from Russia, China and Iran. 

These latest figures bring the total number of cyber incidents dealt with by the NCSC since its inception in 2016 to almost 1,800. 

According to a report released by the NCSC, they have informed 56 banks that their cash machines could be hacked by cyber criminals, withdrawing funds using cloned cards. This crime can happen both at home and abroad and is classed as an ‘imminent threat’ to the financial organisation. 

The report states: 

“Once already in progress, these attacks can be difficult to stop. 

“Banks swiftly put defensive measures in place that protect them against financial loss and reputational damage. 

“Most recently, the NCSC alerted 56 banks to a specific ATM cash-out threat after receiving actionable information. 

“As a result, the banks were able to block any attempt by the attackers to fraudulently withdraw money from customer accounts.’ The report said a large amount of the NCSC’s work continued to be defending against hostile state actors. 

“We can say that Russia, China, Iran and North Korea continue to pose strategic national security threats to the UK.” 

NCSC Chief Executive Ciaran Martin said:  

“From handling more than 600 incidents – many from hostile nation states – to equipping the public with the tools they need to stay safe online, we are employing our expertise on a number of fronts. 

“I am proud to lead this organisation and optimistic that, in a constantly evolving landscape, we can help make this the safest country to live and work online.” 

The NCSC has been working tirelessly to tackle cyber crime. Back in July it was revealed that they had stopped 140,000 phishing attacks and took down 190,000 fraudulent websites. 

Oliver Dowden, Cabinet Office Minister responsible for the country’s cyber security strategy, said the report showed the success of efforts to make the ‘the UK a more challenging place for our cyber adversaries to operate in’. He added: 

Any digital economy must be alert to new threats, and to changes in existing threats. 

The NCSC operates in a complex landscape in which the contours are constantly changing and there is no room for complacency. 

Securing the internet is a 24/7 challenge, 365 days a year, and cannot be shouldered by any one organisation. 

This is a long-term mission, and I congratulate the NCSC for helping to build a pipeline of specialist talent for the future to achieve this.’