Gordon Brown to appoint Britain’s first cyber security chief

June 24th, 2009 - 2:32 pm ICT by ANI  

Gordon Brown London, June 24 (ANI): The British Prime Minister is set to announce the appointment of the nation’s first cyber security chief who will be responsible to protect the country from terrorist computer hackers and electronic espionage.

Brown’s decision comes amid fears that the computer systems of government and business are vulnerable to online attacks from hostile countries and terrorist organisations.

Neil Thompson, a senior civil servant, will be charged with protecting the national computer network, The Independent reports.

Just a month back, US President Barack Obama had declared that he was making it a “national security priority” to protect the US computer network from attack, and that he would set up a “cyber security office” in the White House.

Brown’s plans were endorsed by the Cabinet on Monday, after a presentation by the Security minister, Lord West of Spithead.

Concern has grown in Whitehall that hackers are targeting its computer systems, and those of Britain’s largest companies.

In August 2008, the Government’s first national risk register highlighted Britain’s vulnerability by cyber spies.

“The UK does remain subject to high levels of covert non-military activity by foreign intelligence organisations. They are increasingly combining traditional intelligence methods with new technical attacks,” it said.

The security services are also fighting a constant war in cyberspace against extremist Islamist Internet sites, that attempt to radicalise young people or co-ordinate attacks.

Officials have said the biggest threat comes from China, but they have also expressed worries about the activities of criminal gangs based in Russia.

Britain has discussed ways of boosting computer security with foreign allies including the US. (ANI)

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