UK vows to ‘strike back’ against cyberattacks

November 1, 2016

The UK will defend itself in cyberspace and “strike back” against those who try to harm the country, Chancellor Philip Hammond has said, as he announced a new national cyber security strategy.

The strategy, running from 2016 to 2021, will be supported by a £1.9bn investment made in last year’s Defence and Security Review. The amount is more than double the period covered by the previous strategy.

A “significant” chunk of the cash will go to “taking the fight to those who threaten Britain in cyberspace and relentlessly pursuing anyone who persists in attacking us”.

He warned of “rogue states” seeking to target the UK’s infrastructure, including power grid networks and air traffic systems.

Mr Hammond said many reports were blaming one nation for cyberattacks, and while he didn’t name the country – saying simply “answers on a postcard to No 11 please” – he was clearly pointing at Russia.

His comments come after the MI5 director general, Andrew Parker, warned of increasing Russian aggression – in particular cyberattacks. The claims have been dismissed as baseless by the Kremlin.

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