Hackers stole data from Ministry of Defence contractor

By Danny Palmer
10 Jul 2013 View Comments

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) was a victim of a cyber attack by hackers that resulted in data being stolen, a government report has revealed.

Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) revealed the security breach on page 19 of its annual report, confirming the threat cyber criminals pose to the UK.

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"Government departments are also targeted via attacks on industry suppliers, which may hold government information on their own systems. We have been told that cyber espionage [has] resulted in MoD data being stolen," the report states in its "Cyber defence: government and industry" section.

The ISC report also reveals that a total of 200 email addresses across 30 government departments were targeted by cyber criminals in efforts to steal confidential information. Government IT systems have also been subject to a number of DDoS attacks over the past few years. The report describes the threat of cyber crime to the UK as "disturbing in its scale and complexity".

"The theft of intellectual property, personal details and classified information causes significant harm, both financial and non-financial," the report continues, adding that cyber security must be everybody's concern.

"It is incumbent on everyone - individuals, companies and the government - to take responsibility for their own cyber security. We support the government's efforts to raise awareness and, more importantly, our nation's defences."

The report adds that the government must ensure significant resources are made available in order to combat cyber crime.

"Planning must begin now to ensure that resources will be made available to combat cyber attacks in the latter half of this decade, bearing in mind the resources our allies are putting into this area in recognition of the seriousness of the threat," it said.

"The government must ensure that real progress is made as part of the wider National Cyber Security Strategy: the UK cannot afford not to keep pace with the cyber threat."

Earlier this year, MPs on the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee were told by cyber security experts that we're not winning the war on cyber crime.

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