Warning: Russian hackers are trying to ‘destroy’ UK infrastructure | UK News
Britain faces “ideologically motivated” threats from pro-Kremlin hacking groups, a government minister has warned.
Oliver Dowden, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, confirmed today that the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) has issued an “official threat notice” to operators of critical national infrastructure.
“Disclosing this threat is not easy for us,” he said at the CyberUK conference in Belfast this morning.
“But we believe it is necessary … if we want these companies to understand the current risk they face and take action to defend themselves and the country.”
The NCSC said there was an “emerging risk from state-allied adversaries” as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war and organizations needed to “act now” to protect themselves from attacks.
Mr Dowden said these Russian-aligned groups now had a motive to “disrupt or destroy” Britain’s infrastructure.
He added they are “ideologically motivated rather than financially motivated” which makes them “particularly worrying”.
Mr Dowden, who is also responsible for national investment security, also used the conference to announce new measures to support companies “on the front lines of our cyber defences”.
He said: “These are the companies that are responsible for keeping our country running. to leave the light on.
“Our common prosperity depends on them taking their own security seriously.
“A brick-and-mortar store wouldn’t survive if it left the back door open to criminals every night. Likewise, in today’s world, businesses cannot afford to… leave their digital backdoor open to cyber crooks and hackers.
“The safer we make our businesses, the safer we make our economy – and the more attractive we become as a destination for entrepreneurs.
“The fact that the UK has taken cybersecurity so seriously in recent years already makes us one of the best places in the world to invest.”
One such measure is a new “GovAssure” cybersecurity audit being conducted by the Cabinet Office to review the UK’s critical IT systems.
“Specific and ambitious cyber resilience targets” must also be met in two years by all critical national infrastructure sectors.
Mr Dowden further acknowledged that the government must “break its own glass ceiling” and try to improve salaries to attract cybersecurity professionals to the public service.
He added: “These are the people who protect the systems and public services that millions of people across the country rely on every day, so we should hold the very best people responsible for them.” We have to be competitive to stay ahead.’
Concerns about cyber attacks have increased in recent years.
The Royal Mail postal service faced severe disruption due to a cyber attack in January this year.
Printers at a distribution site near Belfast, Northern Ireland, reportedly began printing ransom notes from LockBit, a hacking group widely believed to have close ties to Russia.
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