Tuesday, 31 May 2011

BBC News: UK beefs up cyber warfare plans

From BBC News today:
'Cyber' soldiers will be put alongside conventional troops as the government puts cyber attacks on an equal footing with other conflicts. The news comes as US defence firm Lockheed Martin admitted it came under a significant cyber attack last week.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it will recruit hundreds of cyber experts to shore up UK defences. It is part of a £650m fund set aside by the government for dealing with cyber security.

"Our forces depend on computer networks, both in the UK and in operations around the world. But our adversaries present an advance and rapidly developing threat to these networks," said the MoD in a statement. "Future conflict will see cyber operations conducted in parallel with more conventional actions the sea, land and air operations," it added.

It will see a growing band of cyber experts deployed by the armed forces to protect vital networks.

"We expect to significantly grow the number of dedicated cyber experts in the MoD and the number will be in the hundreds but precise details are classified," said an MoD spokesman. "As with all personnel they will be expected to serve wherever necessary to do their jobs and this could be in the UK or in operational theatre," he added.

Government networks receive around 20,000 malicious e-mails each month, around 1,000 of which are deliberately targeting them. There has also been a flurry of attacks aimed atother sensitive targets in recent months.

Defence firm Lockheed Martin, which makes weapon systems that are sold around the world, was the latest to be hit. During a cyber attack last week, the firm said it took counter measures "almost immediately" and stressed that none of its programmes had been compromised. The Pentagon is now investigating the incident.
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