Online scams rose 15-fold last year as criminals exploited crises from Covid to the chaotic aftermath of Brexit, a cyber security watchdog has reported.
More such attacks were taken down by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in the last 12 months than the previous three years combined. Hostile states as well organised crime gangs targeted government departments, businesses and the public in sustained hacking offensives, celebrity investment cons, and sextortion.
Criminals as well as foreign intelligence agencies also took advantage of the pandemic to target medical facilities. The NCSC’s Active Cyber Defence Programme dealt with 122 phishing campaigns involving the NHS last year, compared to 36 in 2019.
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