Calls to cybercrime helpline double in a year | #cybercrime | #infosec

A helpline that supports victims of cybercrime has seen a dramatic increase in calls in the last year.

The Cyber and Fraud Centre Incident Response Helpline, a collaboration between the Cyber and Fraud Centre – Scotland, Police Scotland and the Scottish government, with technical and legal incident response support from various Scottish companies, provides advice to help affected organisations mitigate the effects of a cyberattack.

Statistics show that the number of calls received by the helpline has more than doubled from 123 calls in 2022/23 to 263 in 2023/24. This is expected to grow even further over the next year.

The figures also highlight a rise in ransomware attacks, with Black Basta, Lockbit and Akira amongst the most common ransomware programmes being reported to the helpline.

Cyber enabled fraud is also on the rise, with the collaborative Fraud Triage Hub having worked on a total of £26 million in fraudulently obtained money over the past year, of which £16.2m was ultimately stopped or returned.

Amongst the most common types of fraud dealt with in these cases were investment fraud, business email compromise (BEC), crypto investment fraud, impersonation scams and redirection/safe account scams.

Jude McCorry, CEO of the Cyber and Fraud Centre – Scotland, said: “These figures for both cyber and cyber enabled crime are staggering – and we must remind ourselves that these are only the reported statistics. There will be many more instances of these crimes that we are not aware of. Ransomware attacks have been ramping up over the last month and we think we will see that trend continue to grow over the coming months.

“We have also seen a huge increase in cyber enabled crime. During the first six months of the Fraud Triage Hub trial, we worked collectively with our partners on retrieving £10m of fraudulently obtained money. When the trial ended we continued supporting victims, alongside our partners, and have worked on a further £16.2m worth of fraudulently obtained money, with a huge amount of £7.5m in December alone.”

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National Cyber Security