UK facing "disturbing" number of cyber attacks
London: British government and industry computer systems are facing a "disturbing" number of cyber attacks, including a recent serious assault on the Foreign Office`s network, the head of Britain`s communications spy agency said on Monday.
Iain Lobban, director of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), said the attacks posed a threat to Britain`s economic wellbeing.
"The volume of e-crime and attacks on government and industry systems continue to be disturbing," Lobban wrote in an article for the Times newspaper.
"I can attest to attempts to steal British ideas and designs -- in the IT, technology, defence, engineering and energy sectors as well as other industries -- to gain commercial advantage or to profit from secret knowledge of contractual arrangements."
Lobban`s GCHQ agency, a big eavesdropping operation similar to the National Security Agency in the United States, handles operations such as intelligence-gathering and code-busting and is at the forefront of Britain`s cyber defences.
Lobban rarely makes public comments, and his article comes a year after he gave a speech, saying countries were using cyber warfare techniques to attack each other.
He repeated his message that concerted attacks were being waged on the government as well as companies.
"We are also aware of similar techniques being employed to try to acquire sensitive information from British government computer systems, including one significant (but unsuccessful) attempt on the Foreign Office and other government departments this summer," he wrote.
Politicians and spy chiefs around the world have increasingly been warning about growing cyber threats from other countries and from organised criminals.
The last year has seen a dramatic increase in reported cyber attacks often linked to governments, from apparent attempts at data theft at the International Monetary Fund and elsewhere often blamed on China, to the Stuxnet computer worm attack on Iran`s nuclear programme linked to Israel and the United States.
Britain is hosting a major international conference on the management of cyberspace this week which will be attended by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and senior representatives from China, Russia, India and other governments and leading industry figures.
It will look at how there can be greater international cooperation on tackling cyber issues, but is unlikely to produce any immediate consensus on what should or could be done.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague told the Times there were more than 600 "malicious" attacks on British government systems every day, while criminals could obtain stolen credit card details of Britons over the Internet for just 70 pence.
He said countries which could not protect their banking systems and intellectual property would be at a serious disadvantage in future.
"It will be harder for businesses to grow and survive and for individuals to maintain their confidential information," Hague said. "That is why it is urgent to prevent this."
Britain is putting 650 million pounds ($1 billion)into preventing attacks over the next four years, and both Hague and Lobban said governments and businesses needed to work together to address the threats.
"Cyberspace is going to be one of the great challenges of our day," Lobban said.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Vadodara: Policemen seen dancing with bar girls
- PM Modi speaks at Golden Jubilee celebrations of poet Dinkar’s works
- Zee Media Exclusive: Kangana, Madhavan talk about their film 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns'
- DNA: Harmful chemicals found in Maggi, Nestle India still in denial mode
- Coal scam: Naveen Jindal, Madhu Koda and others get bail
- One year of Modi govt: Arun Jaitley addresses press conference
- ISIS executes Syrian fighter using anti-tank rocket launcher
- CM Kejriwal shortlists 39 'unwanted' IAS officers in Delhi
- Zee Media Exclusive interview with Congress leader Kamal Nath
- DNA: Modi-led NDA govt's hits and misses in one year
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Mumbai: One injured in shootout at Film City
- Delhi: Car catches fire after crash, one dead
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- IPL 2015, Qualifier 2: CSK vs RCB - As it happened...
- Tanu Weds Manu Returns movie review: Kangana Ranaut steals the show!
- India to soon have its own space shuttle!
- Kejriwal slams notification on LG's powers, says Modi running Delhi govt through back door
- PM Narendra Modi graces Digvijay Singh's son wedding reception
- Rahul Gandhi to pressurise govt to act on one-rank-one-pension issue
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- CBSE 12th Results 2015: CBSE Board Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic class 12th XII board exam Results 2015 date announced
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- Businessman shot next to Amitabh Bachchan's shooting location in Mumbai Film City
- Manohar Parrikar visits forward areas along LoC, reviews security situation
- RBSE 12th Science & Commerce Board Result 2015 declared
- RBSE rajresults.nic.in & rajeduboard.nic.in 12th Results 2015: BSER Ajmer Rajasthan Board Class 12th XII Senior Secondary Science & Commerce Exam Results 2015 to be declared shortly
- There will be no delay in appointing CIC, CVC: Jitendra Singh
- rajresults.nic.in RBSE Rajasthan Board BSER Class 12th Science and Commerce Exam Results 2015 to be declared shortly