Posted on May 11, 2022 at 4:13 PM
The Ministry of Defence teamed up with the GCHQ intelligence agency in a joint operation to combat the use of sensitive details stolen by cybercriminals. The joint operation focused on the computer networks used by threat actors to launch cyberattacks.
The objective of this joint operation was to protect people against cyberattacks and ensure that the credit card details stolen from hundreds of thousands of people are worthless to the people that stole them.
The move made by the National Cyber Force adopts the combined resources of the GCHQ and the Ministry of Defence. The details about this joint operation were revealed by the director of GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming.
While appearing at a Cyber UK event in Newport for the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Fleming said, “Through the National Cyber Force, we are actively undermining the cyber criminals’ assumption that they can act with impunity on the internet. We have disrupted criminals, making it clear they are being observed and going after their ability to profit from their illegal work.
Fleming talked about how the National Cyber Force, initially launched in 2020, officially started its operations in 2021 alongside other global partners. He said that the NCF was currently working with other international organizations to launch operations that would curtail the work of cybercriminals.
Some of the objectives of this joint workforce involve denying cybercriminals access to malware that can be used to launch attacks. The cybercriminals will also be closely monitored to ensure they cannot access any cyber tools that can be used to launch attacks on users and prevent them from making money from their cybercrime activities.
The move will help protect citizens who do not want to become victims of cyberattacks and fraud activities. Fleming said that this move would ensure that millions of pounds are protected from cybercriminals and other fraudulent individuals.
Fleming also added that “in real life, this means: tens of millions of pounds in potential fraud against the UK economy avoided. Hundreds of thousands of stolen credit cards made worthless to the criminals, and countless potential victims of crime around the world with their data and accounts safeguarded,” Fleming added.
He added that the work done by the NCF was already recording noticeable differences. The agency was already witnessing a huge impact in the military and other initiatives, such as formulating enforcements that target gangs and criminal organizations.
“The NCF is already making a big impact. From countering disinformation, to supporting the activities of our military overseas, and to helping law enforcement to go after criminal gangs, it is improving the UK’s defences, and it is imposing a cost on our adversaries,” Fleming added.
Protecting people against cybercriminals
The active work of the NCF to regulate cryptocurrencies is just one of the strategies being undertaken in the country’s national cybersecurity framework to offer protection. Cybercrime activities target individual internet users, but some high-level activities also target large organizations and critical infrastructure.
The intelligence agency is also taking another approach to address cybersecurity skills. The agency is looking at locating and training people from diverse backgrounds on cybersecurity issues. The organization plans to train these people in steps that can be followed to make the UK a safe place and ensure the country’s sensitive infrastructure, organizations and individuals are not targeted by cybercriminals.
“The talent in the community today is huge. But if the UK wants to continue to be successful, we need to widen the appeal of careers in cyber,” Fleming said. “Together, we must work to attract the next generation of talent from as diverse a pool as possible, from right across the country. The range of lived experiences this will bring into the workforce will make us collectively better.”
Fleming also added that cybersecurity was a personal issue and a national security one. Therefore, the UK needed to take all measures possible to protect itself against any cybersecurity threats lodged against the country. With the rapid growth of the internet and increasing adoption of digital avenues by people and organizations, cybercrime activities were only expected to grow in the coming months.
Fleming concluded his speech at the event, saying, “The global shifts we are seeing will take decades to resolve. And while I can’t predict how things will turn out, I can confidently say that cyber and cybersecurity will continue to be pivotal.”
National Cyber Force to combat the use of stolen credit card details
The Ministry of Defense and the GCHQ are planning to work together to fight cybercrime. The agencies are planning to invalidate the credit card details stolen after cyber attacks. The UK is also planning to enhance cybersecurity protection measures for individuals and organizations.