The National Cyber Security Centre – a part of GCHQ – Fourth Annual Review reveals that the organisation defended the UK from 723 cyber incidents in the last year.

That’s an average of 60 attacks per month during a year which saw its resources proactively focused on the coronavirus response, the organisation’s latest Annual Review revealed today.

“The NCSC, which is a part of GCHQ, handled 723 incidents between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020, with around 200 related to coronavirus. In the previous three years since launching, they supported an average of 602 incidents annually (590 in 2017, 557 in 2018 and 658 in 2019). The growth this year reflects ongoing NCSC efforts to proactively identify and mitigate threats, tips the organisation receives from its extensive network of partners and reports from victims themselves.

In a year heavily influenced by the pandemic, the review highlights the NCSC’s support for the healthcare sector, such as scanning more than 1 million NHS IP addresses for vulnerabilities leading to the detection of 51,000 indicators of compromise, and working with international allies to raise awareness of the threat of vaccine research targeting.”

With cyber criminals looking to exploit public fear over the pandemic with coronavirus-related online scams, the NCSC and the City of London Police also launched the Suspicious Email Reporting Service, which received 2.3 million reports from the public in its first four months – resulting in thousands of malicious websites being taken down.

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Robert Blay

This stuff might not be as sexy as Typhoons or warships, but it’s becoming equally as important for UK defence. And a much bigger threat to our way of life then many give it credit for.

Daniele Mandelli

We are well covered in this area mate.

Expect the military and GCHQ to stand up the National Cyber Force in due course. They might announce it in ISR to sex it up

Robert Blay



When I did my C-IED instructors course a few years back, there was a signals officer on the course with us, we got talking and he mentioned that he had picked up a free USB drive at a show and when at home and plugged into his laptop it was sending info out. He traced it to a site in China. Makes you wonder.


Oh yeah. With miniaturisation it’s scary where you can hide a pretty decent computer fully capable of sending out info e.g. in the USB connector at one end of a simple charging cable! The beauty of USB is that once you’re plugged in you’re given a 5V supply to power whatever little widget you’ve hidden within the plastic housing. Interesting to hear a real life example of someone being caught out by such a device though.