British defence ministry faced 1,000 cyber attacks in a year

Jun 08, 2011
Foreign intelligence agencies and criminal organisations launched more than 1,000 cyber attacks on Britain's defence ministry last year, Defence Secretary Liam Fox, pictured on June 4, has revealed.

Foreign intelligence agencies and criminal organisations launched more than 1,000 cyber attacks on Britain's defence ministry last year, a minister has revealed.

In a speech outlining the growing threat to Britain from cyberspace, defence minister Liam Fox said late Tuesday that London was fighting a "continuous battle" to defend its cyber from hostile forces.

The warning came after US defence contractor revealed it repelled a major cyber assault last month and amid growing international concern about the ability of hackers to target government systems.

"There is a continuous battle being waged against us, day in and day out," Fox told business leaders in London.

"Our systems are targeted by criminals, foreign intelligence services and other malicious actors seeking to exploit our people, corrupt our systems and steal information.

"To give you an idea of the challenge, last year the MoD (Ministry of Defence) blocked and investigated over 1,000 potentially serious attacks.

"This threat is growing in scale and sophistication -- my department is a prime target."

In a new national security strategy unveiled last year, Britain listed alongside international terrorism as one of the biggest threats facing the country.

Fox added that cyber security would be a major concern when awarding defence contracts in future, warning that "intellectual property in defence and security industries is at risk from a systematic marauding."

Washington is developing the first military guidelines for the age of Internet warfare.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates called for a comprehensive international dialogue on cyber attacks at a security conference in Singapore at the weekend after Chinese hackers were blamed for attacks on US targets.

Beijing has denied being behind the attacks.

Explore further: Twitpic to stay alive with new owner

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US, Britain urge cooperation on cyber threats

Jun 04, 2011

The United States and Britain called Saturday for international cooperation against threats to cyber security following a fresh spate of attacks on government and corporate targets.

US urges NATO to build 'cyber shield'

Sep 15, 2010

NATO must build a "cyber shield" to protect the transatlantic alliance from any Internet threats to its military and economic infrastructures, a top US defence official said Wednesday.

SKorea and US forge deal to fight cyber attacks

May 04, 2009

South Korea and the United States have agreed to cooperate in fighting cyber attacks against their defence networks from countries including China and North Korea, officials said Monday.

Recommended for you

Facebook dressed down over 'real names' policy

Sep 17, 2014

Facebook says it temporarily restored hundreds of deleted profiles of self-described drag queens and others, but declined to change a policy requiring account holders to use their real names rather than drag names such as ...

Yelp to pay US fine for child privacy violation

Sep 17, 2014

Online ratings operator Yelp agreed to pay $450,000 to settle US charges that it illegally collected data on children, in violation of privacy laws, officials said Wednesday.

User comments : 0