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Cyberattack could leave UK 'fatally compromised', MPs warn

John E Dunn | Jan. 10, 2013
A major cyber-attack on the UK could leave the UK’s armed forces “fatally compromised” without a viable ‘plan b’ a committee of MPs has warned the Government.

"The other serious issue when it comes to cyber-attacks on the military is that even once a cyber-breach has been remediated and any potential damage minimised, there often remains an enormous amount of uncertainty surrounding the origins of the attack," agreed LogRythm's Ross Brewer.

In fact, this might just be a consequence of the lack of ready precedents for the military to study; others have argued that in a real-world scenario the chances of a country not having a good deal of knowledge about who was attacking it are over-stated. The real issue is how to respond.

Another approach would be for the UK Government to press for international co-operation; today's Internet is still to open to exploitation by small groups, including criminals, and that's before fully-resourced militaries are added to the calculation.

"There is no current legislation to facilitate the prosecution of [international] cybercrime," pointed out Andrew Beckett, head of Cassidian Cyber Security Consulting Services.

"If an attacker sits in the Ukraine and attacks a server in Texas to gain control and mount another attack on a UK organisation then whose jurisdiction does the crime fall under? Who can prosecute it and under which law?," he said.

"There is currently no extradition treaty and no agreements in place for the exchange of evidence which means that criminals are able to operate with impunity."

 

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