57 arrests in nationwide cybercrime busts

March 6th 2015

Working with partners in law enforcement, industry and government, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has this week coordinated an intensive period of UK-wide action against cybercrime.

57 people have been arrested in 25 separate operations, which relate to a range of cyber criminality including:

– Network intrusion and data theft from multinational companies and government agencies

– Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks

– Cyber-enabled fraud

– Malicious software and virus development

Operational activity took place across England, Scotland and Wales and saw officers deployed from the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), Metropolitan Police and Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs) associated with local forces around the UK.

The week also involved a pioneering approach in helping small and medium enterprises, hosting companies and ISPs identify threats on their infrastructure.

Ten Regional Organised Crime Units, Police Scotland and Police Service of Northern Ireland visited approximately 60 businesses, with personalised security data reports, identifying 5,531 compromises on servers within the UK. The compromises could be used to send out spam email, launch attacks against websites or servers, or install phishing websites to gain access to sensitive information.

The NCA estimates that organisations acting on this advice could, between them, clean up to half of the phishing attacks that typically originate from the UK each month.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has also worked with four police regions to hold cyber-security pop-up shops in London, Reading, Derby and Manchester this weekend. Anyone can bring along their digital devices for a free health check and to get advice on online banking, virus protection and protecting themselves online.  The pop-up shops enable people to get advice from a range of cyber experts from law enforcement bodies, banks, cyber security firms and information services. We at Get Safe Online are participating at the following events, all running from 10am until 4pm today and tomorrow:

– Manchester: Trafford Centre

– Derby: Intu Shopping Centre

– Reading: Broad Street Mall

The week is also highlighting the very real risk to businesses and the public that cybercrime poses. You can benefit from free, practical, unbiased advice on this website. If you have been a victim of online crime, report it at

Andy Archibald, Deputy Director of the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, said: “The 56 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. Criminals need to realise that committing crime online will not make them anonymous to law enforcement. We are continuously working to track down and apprehend those seeking to utilise computers for criminal ends, and to disrupt the technical networks and infrastructures supporting international cybercrime.”

He continued: “It is imperative that we continue to work with partners to pursue and disrupt the major crime groups targeting the UK, but also, crucially, work to make sure that people have the knowledge and resources to make the UK as inhospitable as possible for cyber criminals in the first place.”

National Policing Lead for Cybercrime, Deputy Chief Constable Peter Goodman said: “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. We are transforming our response to cybercrime.  We now have an effective national cybercrime unit and regional units tackling this crime, who have worked together this week to target those who are using the internet to steal, commit fraud or impact on organisations’ ability to do their business."

He concluded “Please make it harder for these criminals to get away with it by taking simple steps to stay secure online.”

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