GCHQ says IP theft will damage economic well-being

Intelligence agency warns of serious cyber attacks in UK

Commincations intelligence agency GCHQ said in the Times that sensitive data on Government computers has been targeted, as well as defence, technology and engineering firms’ designs.

There was also a ‘significant’ but ultimately unsuccessful internet-based attack on Foreign Office computers in the summer.

GCHQ’s Iain Lobban said that he found the volume of attacks disturbing. 

He went on: "I can attest to attempts to steal British ideas and designs – in the IT, technology, defence, engineering and energy sectors, as well as other industries – to gain commercial advantage or to profit from secret knowledge of contractual arrangements.

"Such intellectual property theft doesn’t just cost the companies concerned; it represents an attack on the UK’s continued economic wellbeing."

Tomorrow the Government will be holding a two-day event- the London Conference on Cyberspace, hosted by foreign secretary William Hague – which aims to bring together key figures from government and industry, alongside security experts (including representatives from Microsoft and Kaspersky), in order to better tackle cyber-issues.

It will concentrate on five themes: economic growth and development; social benefits; cyber crime; safe and reliable access; international security.

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