Thursday, September 1, 2011

Expert says UK government is too preoccupied with launching cyber attacks

computing.co.uk

A security expert has claimed that the UK is devoting most of its cyber crime fighting efforts to cyber attack, leaving limited resources for defence.

Speaking exclusively to Computing, Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at the Cambridge University computer laboratory, stated that 90 per cent of the government's recent funding injection into cyber security was going to the UK's offensive capability.

"The spooks - GCHQ [Government Communications Headquarters, pictured] - are getting 90 per cent of this new £650m for cyber security [they are responsible for cyber attacks]. The rest, about £65m, is going to the police."

Anderson blamed the imbalance on the fact that the UK's cyber defence capabilities are organisationally placed within GCHQ, the body responsible for electronic espionage, or cyber attack.

"Like the US, the UK has unfortunately got the government's offensive and defensive arms linked together.

"CESG [Communications-Electronic Security Group], which is supposedly defending the core functions of government against for example cyber espionage by the Chinese, is a small subsidiary of GCHQ whose job is exploiting those sources abroad.

"This mixed mission is very bad policy, because it means defensive interests are always less important than an offensive approach."

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