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NCSC successfully launches SERS

Posted 28 April 2020 · Add Comment

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) last week launched the pioneering Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS), to make it easier than ever to flag suspicious emails including those claiming to offer services related to coronavirus - as part of the the new cross-governmental Cyber Aware campaign.

Above: The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Nova South, London.
Image by Simone Flamigni / copyright Shutterstock

Security conscious Britons have been praised after they embraced a service launched yesterday to stop malicious email campaigns with more than 5,000 reports – leading to 83 scams being nullified.

Empowering people to simply forward questionable emails to meant that SERS had already received 5,151 reports as of 12:00 the day after launching on Tuesday 21st April 2020.

NCSC Chief Executive Officer Ciaran Martin said: “The immediate take-up of our new national reporting service shows that the UK is united in its defence against callous attempts to trick people online.

“While we have not seen a rise in email scams in the last month, coronavirus is the top lure currently used to conduct cyber crime, exploiting public unease and fear of the pandemic.

“We hope the success of the Suspicious Email Reporting Service deters criminals from such scams but if you do receive something that doesn’t look right forward the message to us – you will be helping to protect the UK from email scams and cyber crime.”

By forwarding any dubious emails – including those claiming to offer support related to coronavirus – to , the NCSC’s automated programme will immediately test the validity of the site. Any sites found to be phishing scams will be removed immediately.

The service was launched alongside the new cross-governmental Cyber Aware campaign, which promotes recommended behaviours to stay as secure as possible online.

The Cyber Aware campaign will be delivered by the NCSC - which is part of GCHQ - working alongside the Home Office, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Minister for Security James Brokenshire said: "Technology is helping us to keep connected during this challenging period but scammers are cynically looking to exploit this too.

"The new email reporting service helps to combat this and the results so far show how valuable this tool is.”

This Suspicious Email Reporting Service was co-developed with the City of London Police. As well as taking down malicious sites it will support UK policing by providing live time analysis of reports and identifying new patterns in online offending - helping them stop even more offenders in their tracks.

Commander Karen Baxter, City of London Police, National Lead for Fraud, said: “Technology is helping us keep connected during coronavirus, but it is sometimes exploited by criminals.

“The new email reporting service helps to combat this and the results so far show how valuable this tool is.”


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