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UK fights off alleged Russian-state sponsored cyberattacks

Luana PASCU

February 14, 2017

UK fights off alleged Russian-state sponsored cyberattacks

Things are heating up between Russia and Western countries. GCHQ”s cybersecurity chief, Cirian Martin, publicly alleged that Russian-state sponsored cyberattacks have targeted Britain and “threatened national security” to obtain top secret details on foreign policy and defense, announced The Guardian.

In the past six months, the new National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) has blocked some 34,550 attempted attacks, said Chancellor Philip Hammond, former defense and foreign secretary. And in the past three months alone, as many as 188 sophisticated high-level attacks on the country”s national security were detected, similar to those that compromised the US election, he said.

“In the case of government departments, [it is] getting into the system to extract information on UK government policy on anything from energy to diplomacy to information on a particular sector,” Martin said in an interview with the Sunday Times. “Over the last two years there has been a step change in Russian aggression in cyberspace. Part of that step change has been a series of attacks on political institutions, political parties, parliamentary organizations and that”s all very well evidenced by our international partners and widely accepted.”

Russia is not the only country under investigation for the attacks, as China is also under the radar.

Considering the prevalence of IoT technology, Chancellor Hammond warns that connected devices are also significant risk factors that could lead to further security breaches and infrastructure breakdown.

“Beyond hacked kettles and fridges, “internet of things” devices, such as driverless cars, can present alarmingly real security threats that could be incredibly dangerous if the right security isn”t in place,” Hammond wrote for The Telegraph.

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