cyber-security 16 November 2017

Prime Minister May points finger at ‘meddling’ Russia

Russia has been explicitly named by the UK government as the source of a sustained campaign of cyber-espionage. On 13 November, UK Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a speech to business leaders at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London, in which she accused Moscow of ‘meddling’ in elections and spreading fake news, as well as attempting to ‘sow discord in the West’. Her comments were supported by the head of the National Cyber Security Centre (‘NCSC’), Ciaran Martin, who has pointed the finger at Russia as the cause of recent cyberattacks against the UK’s energy, telecommunications and media sectors.

The NCSC, an offshoot of the UK government’s intelligence and security agency GCHQ, has confirmed that there have been over 600 attacks of all kinds (not just by hostile states) against government, business and critical infrastructure since its inception in October 2016. Speaking at The Times and Sunday Times Tech Summit on 15 November, Martin said: ‘I can’t get into the precise details of intelligence matters, but I can confirm that Russian interference, seen by the National Cyber Security Centre over the past year, has included attacks on the UK media, telecommunications and energy sectors.’

He claimed that Moscow is ‘seeking to undermine the international system,’ stating that ‘this is clearly cause for concern.’

In July, GCHQ warned UK energy companies that they ‘were likely to be compromised’ after hackers with Russian backing attacked their systems on 8 June, the day of the UK general election.


For the latest guidance from NCSC see: