UK Spy Chief Confirms That UK Media And Telecom Companies Were Targeted By Russian Hackers

Russia is ‘seeking to undermine the international system’, says the head of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre.

For the first time, the head of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has confirmed that energy companies, telecoms and the British media were attacked by Russian hackers.

No further details were provided by Ciaran Martin, the founding chief executive of the NCSC.

“I can confirm that Russian interference, seen by the National Cyber Security Centre over the past year, has included attacks on the UK media, telecommunication and energy sectors,” Martin said.

Heh added that the NCSC, which is a branch of GCHQ charged with oversight of Britain’s cybersecurity, was “actively engaging with international partners, industry and civil society” to counter the threat.

“Russia is seeking to undermine the international system. That much is clear. The PM made the point on Monday night – international order as we know it is in danger of being eroded.”

Russian hackers have been accused of meddling with the election process in Britain by planting fake stories, by Theresa May on Monday.

“I have a very simple message for Russia,” May said. “We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed. Because you underestimate the resilience of our democracies, the enduring attraction of free and open societies, and the commitment of western nations to the alliances that bind us.”

A notorious Russian “troll agency” has bene running about 400 accounts out of 2,700, all of which have been named by Twitter, and in the run up to and following the referendum for Brexit the hackers tweeted excessively about Brexit.

By stirring anger following the terrorist attack on Westminster in March this year, substantial mainstream coverage was managed to be achieved by one specific account.

While not naming he suspected nations, a memo that was leaked from the NCSC indicated that hackers had targeted and potentially compromised a number of companies in the UK energy sector.

The agency warned it had spotted connections “from multiple UK IP addresses to infrastructure associated with advanced state-sponsored hostile threat actors, who are known to target the energy and manufacturing sectors.”

“NCSC believes that due to the use of widespread targeting by the attacker, a number of industrial control system engineering and services organisations are likely to have been compromised.”

Email accounts of MPs and their peers in the dozens were breached and compromised by hackers in a cyber-attack on the parliament about a month earlier in June.

By just attempting to guess the possible passwords for the parliamentary elections, it was believed that the “likely” culprit behind the parliament cyber-attacks was Moscow. However, sources have told the media that “the nature of cyber-attacks means it is notoriously difficult to attribute an incident to a specific actor”.

(Adapted from The Guardian)

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