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Cyber attacks reach 'disturbing' levels 31.10.11

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Published on Nov 1, 2011

UK defence firms and government departments are being targeted by a 'disturbing' volume of cyber attacks. That is the warning from Iain Lobban - the head of GCHQ, which leads the UK's battle against online attack. He also revealed a significant but unsuccessful attack on the Foreign Office this summer. "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," he said. The SDSR rated cyber as one of the key battlespaces of the future, and created a Ministry of Defence cyber operations group to exploit it. But it is the cabinet office and GCHQ that have the government lead on cyber -- and it is a measure of how seriously they take it for the boss of that most secretive of intelligence agencies to publically spell out the risks. The Foreign office is bringing together world governments and industry figures in London this week to "launch a focused and inclusive dialogue to help guide the behaviour of all in cyberspace". The obvious problem with that is that criminals and intelligence agencies do not always obey the rules in the real world, let alone in a virtual one.

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