Saturday, August 23, 2008

UK: Thousands of Cyber Attacks Each Day on Key Utilities

Jonathan Richards writes on The Times Online:

Computer networks controlling electricity supplies, telecommunications and banking are being attacked thousands of times a day in a new cyberwar against Britain waged by criminals and terrorists — some of them backed by foreign states — the Government has said.

Lord West of Spithead, the Security Minister, told The Times that a mixture of state-sponsored individuals “and those operating at a terrorist level” frequently tried to break into the key networks.

Intelligence organisations such as MI5 have given warning of the threat of state-sponsored “cyber-espionage” from countries such as Russia and China, but this is thought to be the first time that the Government has quantified the extent of the threat to the nation’s networks, furthering the prospect of more widespread computer-based “warfare”.

“If you take the whole gamut of threats, from state-sponsored organisations to industrial espionage, private individuals and malcontents, you’re talking about a remarkable number of attempted attacks on our system — I’d say in the thousands,” Lord West said. “Some are spotted instantly.Others are much, much cleverer.”

More here.


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