Liam Fox owns up to serious MoD cyber attacks

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) suffered around 1000 “potentially serious” cyber attacks last year.

That’s the latest confession from Defence Secretary Liam Fox who told delegates at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry that cyber security threats had doubled over the past year and his department was the main target.

We would not be surprised if the figure was higher. Back in February an ex-MoD employee told TechEye that the department faced a barrage of 600,000 automated botnet attacks a day.

At the time he told us they mostly came from China, with a significant decrease when addresses from China were blacklisted. A trusted cyber-security analyst told us under confidentiality it was no secret the UK faced such attacks which targeted intelligence systems and businesses alike.

This week Mr Fox echoed the claims, telling delegates that the MoD’s systems were targeted by criminals and foreign intelligence services “seeking to exploit our people, corrupt our systems and steal information.”

He went on to warn that such attacks could damage the UK’s economic recovery, British industry and national security. Much like the Coalition itself.

The government announced last year that it would spend £650m to strengthen cyber resilience after identifying cyber threats as one of the most serious “Tier One” national security challenges.

In February, Foreign Secretary William Hague also revealed that some government computers had been infected by a virus last year, and that there had been an attempt to steal data from a UK defence contractor.