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Cyber threat at top of fears for UK government

Simon Quicke

The government has warned that cyber terrorism is on the rise and poses a problem for the country as more terrorism heads onto the web.

Already those in the security world responsible for monitoring attacks have noticed an increase in 'nation-state' activity with fingers pointing Eastwards.

Speaking ahead of the publication of the National Security Strategy the Home Secretary Teresa May said cyber security was one of the most pressing concerns faced by the country.

Attacks on government computers are likely to be seen as tier 1, which is the equivalent to acts of terrorism, in the Nation Security Strategy.

The decision to announce the importance of protecting data from attack has been seen by some as an indication that, despite the spending cuts coming later this week, this is an area that will be given investment.

But the government has come in for some criticism for not taking its own security seriously enough.

"Increased warnings in relation to "cyber terror" ahead of a spending review sounds like a move to secure funding and avoid cuts - the UK Government warns this is a grave threat, yet continues to use Internet Explorer 6, a browser that has been largely discredited due to its numerous security flaws," said Christopher Boyd, senior threat researcher at GFI Software.

"As a country, we have struggled to deal with modest, home-grown threats effectively − such as those posed by script kiddies − so what chance do we have against professional computer criminals with our current grass roots law enforcement, intelligence and counter terrorism capabilities and initiatives?" he added.


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