Hackers hit Ministry of Defence every 8 hours | Mail Online

The Ministry of Defence is coming under cyber attack every eight hours from foreign spies, mafia criminals and hackers, it has been revealed.

Defence Secretary Liam Fox said Britain is waging ‘a continuous battle’ with 1,000 malicious raids on MoD computers a year.

Security sources say Russia, China and organised crime gangs are seeking to steal military secrets from central government and major defence contractors.

In a speech last night, Dr Fox revealed that the number of cyber assaults has doubled in the past year and now costs Britain £27 billion, with the defence sector losing £1.65bn to industrial espionage annually.

He said that there are up to a million security alerts, many of which turn out to be false alarms, across the core defence networks every day.

Speaking at the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry annual defence dinner, the Defence Secretary said: ‘There is a continuous battle being waged against us, day in, day out. Between 2009 and 2010, security incidents more than doubled.’

He added: ‘Was this in Afghanistan? No – this was in cyber space and the target was the MoD.

‘I and my senior colleagues are routinely alerted to incidents that could have had severe consequences if they had not been stopped.

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

‘Last year we in the MOD blocked and investigated over 1,000 potentially serious attacks. The risks to defence are real, and I take them very seriously.’

Last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review put cyber attacks in the top tier of threats facing the British state.

The government is investing £650 million in a new National Cyber Security Programme to fund work across government in partnership with business and other experts to combat attacks and strengthen national resilience.

Dr Fox said: ‘The National Security Strategy recognises the threat of attacks from cyber space as being in the top tier of our national security concerns.

‘This threat is growing in scale and sophistication – my department is a prime target.  Across the core defence networks there were an average of over a million security alerts every day.

‘The cost to the UK economy of cyber crime is estimated to be in the region of £27bn a year and rising. These are attacks against the whole fabric of our society.’

‘The cost to the UK economy of cyber crime is estimated to be in the region of £27bn a year and rising. These are attacks against the whole fabric of our society.’

Dr Fox warned that defence contractors were in the front line of the war against cyber raids.

‘Our national intellectual property in defence and security industries is at risk from a systematic marauding.

‘The aerospace and defence sector is particularly exposed – losing £1.6bn per year as a result of espionage and the theft of intellectual property.

‘As I look across the defence and security industries, I see a complex supply chain with many companies, all of whom use the internet to do business, and all of whom are vulnerable to cyber intrusions.

‘The reality is that increasingly we will worry about how seriously our suppliers take account of the cyber security threat when we are placing our business.’

Dr Fox called for co-operation from business and industry to help fight cyber attacks.

‘This is the war of the invisible enemy. Success cannot be achieved by government alone because, in cyber space, there are few boundaries between government, business and every individual internet user.

‘We now see weekly reports of cyber attacks against businesses, institutions and networks used by people going about their daily lives. When it comes to cyber security – we must fight this battle together.’

He concluded: ‘Not only could it severely affect the future success of British industry, our economic advantage, and the country’s financial recovery – but also directly impacts upon our national security today.’

Last year Iain Lobban, the boss of the GCHQ listening station in Cheltenham, revealed that his spies have found 20,000 hostile emails on government computer networks.

He warned that the threat of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure – such as nuclear power stations – was both real and credible.

Dr Fox’s warnings come a month after Chancellor George Osborne revealed that foreign spies try to break into Treasury computers about once a day.

via Cyber attacks: Hackers hit Ministry of Defence every 8 hours | Mail Online.


About gatoMalo

I am a veteran served on the USS Saratoga. After the military I worked on computers for the last 30 or so years. I worked as a hardware, software, network, email, groupware developer and security dude. I am now an abuelo. I belive in guarding the guards. We are all citizen warriors for our country the 5th battlefield is Cyber Space so here I am. Later, quis custodiet ipsos custodes? View all posts by gatoMalo

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