Namecheap Hosted 25% Fake UK Government Phishing Sites Last Year
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According to the National Cyber Security Centre, Namecheap hosted more than a quarter of all known phishing sites that falsely posed as UK government web presences during 2020.
This number appears in the center’s fourth annual Active Cyber Defence report, that boasts about how much digital filth it has removed from the internet. According to the NCSC, there were 700,000 scam sites spread across 1.4 million URLs.
It also came across sites impersonating Capita TV Licensing, the BBC’s outsourced subscription sales arm, as well as the usual COVID-themed ones we’ve all become familiar with over the last year – fake copies of the NHS Test and Trace app laced with malware.
Email scams were also popular, with 26,000 accounts being closed after netizens reported four million suspicious messages to the NCSC’s email reporting portal.
The NCSC’s bread and butter is the Active Cyber Defence program, aimed at primarily protecting the public sector. Since certain aspects of the program focus on telecommunications, it has also extended into protecting the general public.
Alpha Tag Scamming
The NCSC hopes to make an immediate and positive difference in scam texts that appear to be sent from alphanumeric names such as UK Gov. These are possible due to the faulty design.
UK mobile networks support the use of alpha tags in place of phone numbers, but security for those tags was lacking until recently.
The new security tags are implemented via SMS SenderID Protection Registry. Moreover, NCSC is working to register British Government-themed tags (plus the television tax agency, that is unusual) to prevent their reuse by scammers.
According to the NCSC’s Active Cyber Defence report, Namecheap took an average of 47 hours to disable gov.UK-themed phishing sites. So far, it is estimated that they hosted roughly 28.8% share of known UK government-themed phishing sites.
GoDaddy was the second biggest magnet of such scam sites last year. Fortunately, the company manage to disabled them in about 37 hours and had a lower 11.2% share.
By comparison, Namecheap accounted for only 2% or 3% of this type of phishing website targeting the United Kingdom in 2019.
The NCSC’s CyberUK conference is taking place this week. Due to the pandemic, this year’s edition is a series of YouTube lectures.
Home Secretary Priti Patel, known for her virulent anti-encryption ideas, is scheduled to speak at the conference.
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May 11, 2021 at 06:24AM