'Urgent' cyber threat to UK

MPs warn that UK armed forces are so dependent on information technology that their ability to operate could be "fatally compromised" by a cyber attack. The Defence Select Committee urged the Government to "urgently create" a contingency plan.

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Government to invest £650 million in cyber security

Surgeon Commander Dr Andrew Murrison Conservative MP for Westbury, on duty at Az Zubayr Port in southern Iraq Credit: David Cheskin/PA Archive

Defence Minister Andrew Murrison has rejected accusations that the Government isn't doing enough to protect cyber security.

He said they would be investing £650 million over the next four years in the national cyber security strategy programme.

The Commons Defence Committee said that the armed forces could be 'fatally compromised' if it suffered a cyber attack.

Defence secretary: 'Vulnerabilities must be tackled'

The Government stand accused of complacency and lacking contingency planning.

Policy progress is falling behind the pace of the threat our armed forces face.

Vulnerabilities must be tackled urgently and ministers must respond in detail to the demands in this report.

Cyber demands new strategies and capabilities as part of a necessarily diverse modern defence posture.

– Jim Murphy, Shadow defence secretary

Defence Minister: Protection taken 'extremely seriously'

The UK Armed Forces and the equipment and assets they use are amongst the world's most modern and advanced, so of course information technology plays a vital role in their operation.

Far from being complacent, the MoD takes the protection of our systems extremely seriously and has a range of contingency plans in place to defend against increasingly sophisticated attacks although, for reasons of national security, we would not discuss these in detail.

Government funding to tackle this threat underlines the importance we attach to these issues.

– Andrew Murrison, Defence Minister

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Government urged to prevent cyber threat

The Commons Defence Committee are warning the Government needs to take a more hands on approach to UK security.

Hearing evidence that entire combat units could be rendered completely dysfunctional by a cyber attack, they said details of contingency plans should be set out.

Given the inevitable inadequacy of the measures available to protect against a constantly changing and evolving threat ... it is not enough for the armed forces to do their best to prevent an effective attack.

In its response to this report the Government should set out details of the contingency plans it has in place should such an attack occur.

If it has none, it should say so - and urgently create some.

– The Commons Defence Committee

Warnings over threat of cyber attack to UK security

MPs have warned the armed forces are too dependent on information technology Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

MPs are warning that the threat of cyber attack to UK security could evolve at an 'unimaginable speed'.

The Commons Defence Committee has said that the armed forces are so dependent on information technology that their ability to operate could be "fatally compromised", calling on minsters to take a more hands-on approach to deal with it.