UK Government Staff Hit with Billions of Malicious Emails in 2021
The UK government was reportedly targeted with billions of malicious emails in 2021, and employees may have clicked on tens of thousands of suspicious or fraudulent links. Comparitech recently conducted a report into these malicious emails, and received answers from 260 government organizations in the form of freedom of information requests. Comparitech calculated that 764,331 government employees received a total of roughly 2.7 billion malicious emails, adding up to about 2,399 each. However, this means that the emails were likely identified as malicious by the respective government entity and blocked.
On average, 0.32% of malicious emails were opened by staff in 2021, and 0.67% of these incidents resulted in employees clicking on potentially malicious links crafted by cyberattackers. Comparitech found that this means 57,736 suspicious links were clicked on last year by UK government employees. When broken down into departments, the NHS Digital recorded the highest number of malicious emails received.