In its seventh Annual Review, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has emphasised the ongoing and serious nature of the threat to the United Kingdom’s critical infrastructure.

The NCSC, a branch of GCHQ, used this opportunity to highlight the increasingly unpredictable threat landscape faced by the UK.

According to the review, the UK’s critical sectors, including essential services like water, electricity, communications, transport, financial networks, and internet connectivity, are under ‘enduring and significant’ threat. This risk is attributed partly to the rise of state-aligned groups and a noticeable increase in aggressive cyber activities.

In the past year, the NCSC has observed the emergence of a new class of cyber adversary in the form of state-aligned actors, often sympathetic to Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine. These actors are motivated ideologically rather than financially.

In May, the NCSC issued a joint advisory revealing the details of ‘Snake’ malware, a core component in Russian espionage operations carried out by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) for nearly two decades.

NCSC CEO Lindy Cameron stated, “The last year has seen a significant evolution in the cyber threat to the UK – not least because of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine but also from the availability and capability of emerging tech.”

The Annual Review also points out a new trend of malicious actors targeting personal email accounts of high-profile and influential individuals involved in politics. This trend indicates a shift from mass campaigns against the public to specific targeting of individuals deemed to hold valuable information.

The NCSC assesses that personal accounts are targeted because their security is less likely to be managed in depth by a dedicated team. In response, the NCSC launched a new opt-in service this year for high-risk individuals to receive alerts if malicious activity is detected on personal devices or accounts.

You can read more on this topic by clicking here.

Avatar photo
George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also previously worked for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

19 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
maurice10
maurice10
17 days ago

At the end of the day, this is probably the most critical threat to UK’s way of life. Something may have to go in order we safeguard our civil liberties. Sady, for the MOD this lands in their lap along with the secret services and as I inferred, something or things may have to be axed to ensure enough investment is in place.

Frank62
Frank62
17 days ago

Now we have a Sinophile foreign secretary I can only expect more compromise to our security.

DH
DH
17 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Hi F62, without being (Beijing) too much of a Sci fi /cyber fly on the wall, I’d love to know how that fo/sec came about and why. 🤔.

MaxGold
MaxGold
16 days ago
Reply to  DH

Cameron’s return to Government is interesting. One might wonder why an Ex Prime Minister would be happy to accept a lesser position and probably for no more than a few months – with a General Election less than a year away and a Labour landslide inevitable. IMHO I think Cameron probably has his eye on a much bigger prize. After the UK failed to persuade the US to support Ben Wallace’s candidature for Secretary General of NATO, allegedly due to his not having been PM or Foreign Secretary – Jens Stoltenberg received a 4th extension of his mandate as NATO… Read more »

DH
DH
16 days ago
Reply to  MaxGold

Hi MG, I’m really not a political buff but like everyone else, I have my suspicions 😕. Having met Cameron on the Ark Royal, (tv crews central) immediately wasn’t impressed. Wallace…. ThePotus seems more worried about his ancestors being offended by Rwanda and the Irish agreement.???? Brexit was a real laxitive for Cameron +piglet 🐖. Anyhoo, 😂had me rant, time to FO. 🕳️.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  DH

How was Cameron unimpressive? That intrigues me.

DH
DH
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Wasn’t long after his “visit”the ArkRoyal was scrapped! You know what intrigue gets you,more intrigue 🙃👍

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  DH

Defence is still reeling from the impact of the 2010 Defence Review, that’s for sure.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  MaxGold

I had never before heard that the Americans did not support Ben Wallace to be Sec Gen as he had not been a PM or Foreign Sec. Lord Robertson became Sec Gen without this ‘qualification’. Surely having been a Def Sec would be a perfect qualification.

Many thought that the Americans would consider a Brit would not be popular as Sec Gen with Europeans due to Brexit.

As the ‘instigator of Brexit’ surely the Americans would not at all favour Cameron as a future Sec Gen.

David Barry
David Barry
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

It’s a good question but Cameron’s involvement with Chinese money has not gone unnoticed – strategic Sri Lanka bought out / indebted by Chinese money with Mr C the interlocutor… no thanks, I wouldn’t want him anywhere near Defence; and the FO is too close already.

Andrew D
Andrew D
17 days ago

Definitely need systems in place for cyber security to guard against attacks for infrastructure ,but our infrastructure is also at risk from air attack from states who have cruise missiles and long range bomber aircraft .I personally think GBAD is badly needed for this island of ours. Time to give our forces sky sabre batteries to cover UK sky’s maybe a good start 😉 🇬🇧

expat
expat
16 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

I was at a conference a little while back and spoke to someone from the RN, They suggested that there were literally 100s of ways to attack our offshore infrastructure. Essentially its not protectable with the current force structure.

Added to that the turbines themselves are interfering with the radars that should protect them.

Never mind as long as the political class say we’ll have energy security we’ll be fine. Its a very effective strategy, if something is repeated enough and from different sources it influences peoples cognitive bias(google it), which essentially means it starts to represent facts to them.

Andrew D
Andrew D
16 days ago
Reply to  expat

Need a wake up call ⏰

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
17 days ago

Never mind the cybersecurity of the UK’s critical infrastructure, how about going after the scammers? The Independent is reporting that UK citizens lost £100m + to scammers 2021/2022. Isn’t that a critical threat to the UK’s online shopping and digital way of life?

Ian
Ian
16 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

That’s in a context of total retail sales for the year in the region of £400 billion, so not about to bring down society. Even the more ‘sophisticated’ scams tend to be fairly easy to spot if you’re reasonably alert to the possibility, and it has always been the case that a fool and his money are soon parted.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
16 days ago
Reply to  Ian

As is habitual among the criminal fraternity, the marks are usually elderly pensioners unfamiliar with the digital world. Many scammers phone in from overseas – often India and Pakistan – claiming to be police officers/bank employees saying that bank accounts have been compromised and they need to move their life savings to a new bank account.

Elderly folk are unaware of the risks, and trustingly follow the instructions. If a firm of bank robbers had got away with the £100 million, the police would be very interested! Clearly online fraud is not an imperative either for GCHQ or the police.

expat
expat
16 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

I’m not sure the police would even investigate a bank robbery these days!!!

DH
DH
16 days ago
Reply to  expat

Sadly, expat you’re correct. 99 9 isn’t always the no. to ring, depending on the crime. Yeh I was confused too. 🙃🙄.

ian white
ian white
14 days ago

It is the simple things that can keep you digitally secure. Just making sure all updates are carried out on time and no use of strange USB sticks which appear from no-where are the two top easy moves which are the basis of a lot of attacks.
Human nature / mistakes are the biggest problem.