21st Century Wire says…
Those Russians are at it yet again. The United Kingdom’s equivalent of the NSA, better known as GCHQ, issued a letter to all British Members of Parliament (MPs) warning them that Russia could threaten the British electoral processes and necessary action must be taken.
In what seems a coincidental ‘echo’ of matters across the pond with Britain’s ‘strongest ally’, GCHQ have also demanded a meeting with British politicians including strengthening the UK’s cyber-defences as a ‘top priority’.
After the ‘Snoopers Charter’ i.e. The Investigatory Powers Act, went into force on 30th December 2016, one would assume that the UK is patched and has nothing to fear from those devious Russians. Clearly, GCHQ think UK cyber-security requires further emendation.
More on this report from Infosecurity Magazine…
UK spy agency GCHQ has warned MPs that Russian hackers could threaten electoral processes and urged MPs to take necessary action to protect the UK’s democracy.
According to a report in the Sunday Times, officials at GCHQ have demanded a meeting with politicians “after warning them that they are at risk of Russian cyber-attacks disrupting the next general election.” Strengthening the UK’s defenses against hackers should be considered a top priority, the report said.
The fear is that foreign hackers could target private internal communications and information, which could then be leaked publicly. This echoes events in the US in the run up to the 2016 presidential election, where Russia was accused of hacking into the Democratic National Committee in order to influence the election in favor of eventual winner Donald Trump.
Ciaran Martin, chief executive of GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), said in a letter to politicians: “You will be aware of the coverage of events in the United States, Germany and elsewhere reminding us of the potential for hostile action against the UK political system…
“This is not just about the network security of political parties’ own systems. Attacks against our democratic processes go beyond this and can include attacks on parliament, constituency offices, think tanks and pressure groups and individuals’ email accounts.”
UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson said that while there was no evidence Russia has carried out cyber-attacks against UK political targets they do have the capability.
Speaking to TV show Peston on Sunday, he said: “We have no evidence the Russians are actually involved in trying to undermine our democratic processes at the moment. We don’t actually have that evidence. But what we do have is plenty of evidence that the Russians are capable of doing that.”
“There is no doubt that they have been up to all sorts of dirty tricks – bringing down French TV stations; you have seen what happened in the United States where there is no question at all they were involved in the hacking of the Democratic National Convention. You have seen what happened in Montenegro, where there was an attempted coup in a European state and possibly even an attempted assassination of the leader of that state…”
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