3 July 2017

HACK PAYBACK Britain may go to war with foreign states attempting cyber attack on UK, Defence Secretary warns

By Harry Cole

FOREIGN state hackers could face a declaration of war from Britain if they are found to have targeted us again, the Defence Secretary warned tonight.

Sir Michael Fallon said the price of a crippling cyber attack on Britain could come “from any domain – air, land, sea or cyber.”

The chilling threat came as the Tory hawk revealed foreign enemy states are launching two “high level cyber attacks” on Britain every single day.

In a major speech be blasted “aggressor states like Russia, working overtime to disrupt and discolour our democracy” who launch around 60 attacks on Britain’s government IT, infrastructure and businesses every month.

Speaking to the respected Chatham House think-tank, the Defence Secretary said: “We now have the skills to expose cyber criminals, to hunt them down and to prosecute them.”

He added: “We have no evidence yet as to who was behind the attack on Parliament, it is too early to speculate what kind of actor was involved.”

But he warned “when we know, we have got to consider how to respond” and added Britain could “respond in kind to any assault at a time of our choosing.”

Sir Michael added that a cyber attack could fall foul of NATO’s Article V covering mutual defence, which states that an attack on one member state is an attack on all.

He said the “response in each case may need to be differentiated” but“ clearly has to be a point at which they cross a certain threshold, endangering the state itself, the daily existence of its people”.

He added: “that is why we have pressed for NATO to be clear that a cyber-attack can be just as threatening as any other kind of physical attack when you are getting into the territory of Article V.”

Sir Michael also claimed that “Parliament itself coming under a sustained and determined cyber-attack” should be a “wake up call to us all” about cyber defences and the importance of strong passwords.

He went on: “Last Friday we saw the UK hit by yet another cyber attack, this time directed against our parliamentary IT systems.

“Investigations so far have found that the hackers were attempting to carry out a sustained and determined attack on all parliamentary user accounts in an attempt to identify weak passwords to gain access to users’ emails.”

He added that: “We all have a responsibility to look after ourselves online.

“A stronger password here, a Windows update there and we would have stood an even better chance of warding off the attacks,”

He said Government and the public both had a role to “play in contributing to a culture of resilience”

No comments: