UK Government under cyber-attack says Chancellor George Osborne

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

George Osborne MP, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, has said that British government computers are on the receiving end of over 20,000 malicious email attacks every month.

In a keynote address at the Google Zeitgeist event in London today, Osborne claimed that foreign intelligence agencies are responsible for many of the attacks, with the intention of stealing sensitive information.

Here’s part of what he said:

In any given month there are over 20,000 malicious emails sent to government networks.

Here is a salient story from my time as Chancellor.

During 2010, hostile intelligence agencies made hundreds of serious and pre-planned attempts to break into the Treasury’s computer system.

In fact, it averaged out as more than one attempt per day.

This makes the Treasury one of the most targeted departments across Whitehall.

At some point last year, a perfectly legitimate G20-related email was sent to HM…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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