UK starts secret cyber hack unit to counter fraud

THE GOVERNMENT has set up a secret cyber crime fighting centre with many of the UK’s top companies in a bid to counter the growing threat of online hacking attacks.

The “fusion cell”, located in an undisclosed part of London, has been established with the backing of more than 160 companies from a range of sectors along with government departments such as MI5 and the National Crime Agency.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership would let government and businesses create a picture of cyber threats and how to deal with them.

Coincidentally, yesterday saw what was dubbed the biggest cyber attack in history, leading to millions of internet users around the world suffering slower speeds.

An email blocking service, Spamhaus, alleged that a Dutch website hosting company, Cyberbunker, had started an attack on Spamhaus in conjunction with gangs from eastern Europe. The attack affected other web services that use Spamhaus’s systems, causing slower internet connections.

Announcing the new unit yesterday, Maude said: “We know that cyber attacks are happening on an industrial scale and businesses are by far the biggest victims of cyber crime in terms of industrial espionage and intellectual property theft with losses to the UK economy running into the billions of pounds.”

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