(LiveHacking.Com) – Iain Lobban, director of the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has reported that a “significant but unsuccessful” cyber-attack was made on the Foreign Office and other government departments this summer.
Originally writing in the UK newspaper The Times, the director of the government’s listening centre said that the “disturbing” number of cyber-attacks on the government, industry and private individuals was a threat to the “continued economic wellbeing” of the UK.
“I can attest to attempts to steal British ideas and designs – in the IT, technology, defence, engineering and energy sectors, as well as other industries – to gain commercial advantage or to profit from secret knowledge of contractual arrangements,” said Lobban. “Such intellectual property theft doesn’t just cost the companies concerned. It represents an attack on the UK’s continued economic wellbeing.”
Lobban’s article was published to coincide with the UK London Cyber Conference which starts today (Nov 1) in London. The conference is hosted by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and it was planned that Hilary Clinton would talk at the conference. However she has had to cancel as her mother has fallen ill. Mr Hague tweeted earlier today that:
Very sorry that #SecClinton won’t be able to attend #LondonCyber today. My best wishes to her and her family at this time
The cyber-attacks on the UK targeted sensitive data on government computers, along with defence, technology and engineering firms’ designs.
Lobban also added: “Criminals are using cyberspace to extort money and steal identities, as well as exploit the vulnerable. Increasingly sophisticated techniques target individuals. We are witnessing the development of a global criminal market place – a parallel black economy where cyber dollars are traded in exchange for UK citizens’ credit card details. Tackling cyber crime matters and it is a very real threat to our prosperity.”