Cyber Hackers Target UK

By Kevin Coleman

Defense Tech Chief Cyber War Correspondent

Massive electronic attacks by foreign intelligence services have targeted the security of many of Britain’s largest companies, according to UK’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC). The ISC went on to say that in many cases, the attacks have been successful. The objective was to steal government, defense and technology information.

The ISC went on to warn the threat posed was a matter demanding the highest priority and attention. The ISC blamed the attacks on government-backed hackers from China and Russia and even said that Islamist terrorists were also behind some of the attacks.

ISC is not the only one expressing concern. Foreign states and terrorist groups are regularly launching cyber attacks on the UK's computer systems with the potential to cause widespread damage, according to the British government's security czar. Lord West, parliamentary under-secretary for security and counter-terrorism, said the UK was under daily cyber attack.

West went on to say, "There is no doubt some state actors have sucked out huge amounts of intellectual copyright, designs to whole aero engines, things that have taken years and years of development.”

These comments came on the heels of FBI Director Robert Mueller’s warning that militant groups, foreign states and criminal organizations posed a growing threat to US security as they targeted government and private computer networks.

FACT: The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) was established by the Intelligence Services Act 1994 to examine the policy, administration and expenditure of the Security Service, Secret Intelligence Service, and the Government Communications Headquarters.

FACT: The Intelligence and Security Committee 2010 annual report can be found at - http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/media/348175/isc-annualreport0910.pdf .

FACT: Many believe that the UK is leading the way in cyber security within the European Union.

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