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Phishing: 60 compromised businesses behind half of UK attacks

The UK National Crime Agency has revealed just 60 businesses across the country could be inadvertently responsible for half of British phishing attacks.

These companies aren’t strictly responsible for the attacks; instead, third-party hackers compromise the businesses’ servers and propagate attacks by proxy.

The details come as part of a report (via TheNextWeb) on 57 new phishing arrests in what the agency called ‘strike week’.

A total 60 companies were visited across the nation, with 5,531 compromises discovered on the servers.

These servers were found to have been used for sending spam e-mail, as well as various other attacks and phishing scams.

The arrests made specifically related to phishing, network intrusion, data theft, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, cyber-enabled fraud, and malicious software and virus development.

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Deputy Chief Constable Peter Goodman, the National Policing Lead for Cybercrime, commented: “Cybercrime is not victimless. A high-end cyber-attack against financial institutions could have a far-reaching impact on our economy.”

“Small and medium sized businesses can be bankrupted by a cyber-attack with owners and staff losing their jobs. You could be seriously affected by the publication of your personal information.”

One 21-year-old man was involved in a 2012 attack that saw the perpetrator nab some 400,000 e-mails and passwords from Yahoo.

A 23-year-old man was also arrested after being suspected of breaking into the US Department of Defence’s global comms systems last summer.

Andy Archibald, Deputy Director of the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, said: “These arrests around the country this week are a result of the essential partnership activity with law enforcement, industry and government that is at the heart of fighting cybercrime.”

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