Email Industry News: An Email Reporting Service To Fight COVID-19-related Scam Attacks and Gmail Blocking 18M Daily Coronavirus-related Scam Emails May 1, 2020Views: 1037
The U.K. government launched a cyber awareness campaign and an email reporting service in order to fight COVID-19 email scams. Gmail has also been fighting the coronavirus-related phishing attacks and reported it has blocked an average of 18M COVID-19-related scam emails daily.
“Be suspicious of any unexpected emails. Should you receive one you haven’t opted-in for, the best thing to do is delete it.” – EmailOut
In this article, we’ll cover the following email industry news:
- A U.K. cybersecurity organisation launched an email reporting service to tackle COVID-19 scams
- Gmail blocks 18M coronavirus-related email scams per day
NCSC’s ‘Cyber Aware’ Campaign and New Email Reporting Service
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) launched an online security campaign called Cyber Aware. It will offer advice on how users can protect themselves online during the pandemic.
Aside from launching ‘Cyber Aware’, the cyber-security organisation has also launched its new Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS). It will allow users to report bogus, deceitful and suspicious emails including such that offer coronavirus-related services.
In a single day after launching SERS, the organisation stated they received more than 5,000 complaints regarding suspicious emails and shut down 83 malicious web campaigns.
On April 21, NCSC reported in their press release that they have removed over 2,000 coronavirus-related online scams including –
a) 471 fake online shops selling fraudulent coronavirus related items;
b) 555 malware distribution sites set up to cause significant damage to any visitors;
c) 200 phishing sites seeking personal information such as passwords or credit card details;
d) 832 advance-fee frauds where a large sum of money is promised in return for a set-up payment.
“Criminals are seeking to exploit our greater use of emails, video conferencing and other technologies for their advantage. I encourage everyone to follow the Cyber Aware advice and to use the Suspicious Email Reporting Service,” stated the Minister for Security James Brokenshire.
SERS was co-developed with the City of London Police. When a user forwards any dubious emails to [email protected], the organisation’s automated programme will instantly test the legality of the site. If it finds the websites to be phishing scams, they will be promptly removed.
The service will also provide police with a real-time analysis of phishing patterns to better track and stop campaigns.
Gmail Blocks 18M COVID-19 Scam Emails Per Day
Email scams aren’t exactly a novelty. But, we must give credit where credit’s due and to Google’s credit, their Gmail platform has been doing quite well at battling – and blocking – scam emails. However, with the COVID-19 mayhem, it appears that there are now more scam-related emails than ever.
According to the search engine giant, the pandemic has led to a burst of phishing attacks. Cybercriminals are using those attacks to trick users into revealing personal data. Within just a week, Gmail saw and blocked 18 million daily scam emails related to the coronavirus; and, this aside from more than 240 million COVID-related daily phishing emails.
“Our ML models have evolved to understand and filter these threats, and we continue to block more than 99.9% of spam, phishing, and malware from reaching our users”, states Google.
Among the phishing attacks are those mimicking legitimate government bodies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Another such phishing attacks was addressed to work-at-home employees states.
The company stated that it’s working to protect users against such phishing attacks. They also recommend that users complete Security Checkup, avoid downloading attachments they don’t recognise, use Gmail’s built-in document preview (it prevents malware from automatic download) and always double-check the integrity of the URLs in the email.
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This article was originally published on 27 April and can be found here.
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