Foreign governments ‘threaten UK’s national infrastructure’

Foreign governments are the primary threat to the UK's critical national infrastructure because of their hunger for information, according to the government agency responsible for monitoring infrastructure security.

Foreign governments are the primary threat to the UK 's critical national infrastructure because of their hunger for information, according to the government agency responsible for monitoring infrastructure security.

 

Speaking at the launch of the Sans Top 20, Roger Cummings, director of the National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre (NISCC), said the most significant electronic threats are content-based, targeted Trojan horse email attacks from the Far East, probing the infrastructure for information.

 

The NISCC said it is working with its equivalents in the countries concerned to try to shut the attacks down, adding that for diplomatic reasons it couldn’t name the countries concerned.

 

Cummings defined what he called the “malicious marketplace'’ where exploit writers can make money by selling their threats.

 

“Who are the most capable organisations to make use of exploits? Foreign states are the most capable actors. They are the ones currently sitting at the top of the marketplace,” he said. The foreign states are followed by criminals who are also trying to compromise the national infrastructure to try to sell information, he said.

 

He suggested that hackers motivated by kudos or money pose a more serious threat than terrorists, who currently have a low capability.

 

"We are concerned that the malicious marketplace will make available exploits that can do us damage," said Cummings.

 

Surely it’s not a case of if, but when.

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