A Norwich MP and minister has been given responsibility for coordinating Britain’s efforts to defend itself from cyber attack.

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The Eastern Daily Press has learnt that Norwich North MP Chloe Smith will take on the role as part of her new job at the Cabinet Office.

Cyber security refers to defending UK private and public sector organisations against electronic attacks launched via computer systems.

Threats include everything from small scale email scams to sophisticated large scale attacks launched for political, economic or criminal reasons.

Ms Smith, who was given her job as Cabinet Office minister in the recent reshuffle, said: “I’m responsible for acting in a coordinating role for cyber security. Of course all of government takes it very seriously, but the Cabinet Office performs a coordinating role in the middle.

“Cyber security means making Britain a safer place to do business, making sure that the government and individuals are safe from cyber threats. But it is also a great opportunity to help British businesses grow on a very interesting and fast moving sector.

“Threats can come from a number of sources; that can be acts from other states, but it can also be criminal activity against a business or individuals in terms of their personal details.”

Ms Smith’s role will see her coordinating the action of all government departments, but in particular of the Foreign Office, the Home Office and the Ministry of Defence.

Earlier this year the military admitted cyber criminals had managed to hack into some of the MoD’s top secret computer systems, that the number of cyber attacks on government computers was increasing and that the UK itself was involved in developing cyber weapons.

Perhaps the most famous cyber attack to date is the ‘Stuxnet’ strike which saw an implanted computer programme damage centrifuges used by the Iranian government to enrich uranium.

Ms Smith said: “It can also include ‘hacktivism’, and that means situations in which a group seeks to hack into systems belonging to a government, business or people for a particular purpose, for example to carry out some sort of political campaign.

“People will be aware of some of instances where some firm’s website has been brought down by that kind of activity.”

The hacking group called ‘Anonymous’ came to prominence when it launched online attacks in support of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in December 2010, after his website published secret US government diplomatic cables.

The hacking collective targeted global finance websites Visa and PayPal after those companies severed links with Wikileaks.

Meanwhile this year the group claimed to have brought down the websites of Downing Street and the Home Office in protest at the handling of Assange’s bid to avoid extradition to Sweden.

Ms Smith’s first task will be to look at the country’s Cyber Security Strategy this November and see if it is up to date.

Her job in the Cabinet Office also sees her take on responsibility for constitutional reform, including looking at issues like the recall of MPs. Meanwhile she will oversee the government’s drive for efficiency and reform in the civil service.

14 comments

  • Ingo, Bill Gates is one of the main funders of GMO and vaccines to bring down the world population, he is well placed as he controls Microsoft. Google have recently sold out to allow searches to be tracked, encryption doesn't work on google.

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Monday, September 24, 2012

  • UK is shamefully following the US, the next step is to track people's activity on the internet. Not for terrorist type activity as they will claim, but for those exposing the drug, food and agrochemical industries, over the dangers of vaccines, untested drugs, GMO's and food additives. All these are starting to get blown apart in the US and the pharmachemical companies are pouring $millions into stopping it. Look up 'Proposition 37'

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    Honest John

    Monday, September 24, 2012

  • The previous two comments sum it up ... Onward and Upward , Chloe . You`ll be in charge of sharpening pencils , soon .

    Report this comment

    dragonfly

    Monday, September 24, 2012

  • Honest John, there are plenty of open source applications that encrypt, you can run linux debian, or Ubuntu and attach an encryption, the more encrypt the sooner they will forget about it. It would take them a week to de crypt a shopping list. TOR is the tops, somewhat slower but very safe. Windoze is a sieve that is easy manipulated, just as Chloe will be.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, September 24, 2012

  • Honest John, there are plenty of open source applications that encrypt, you can run linux Debian, or Ubuntu and attach an encryption, the more of us use encryption the sooner they will forget about it. It would take them a week to de crypt a shopping list. TOR is the tops, somewhat slower but a very safe operation system. Windoze is a sieve that is easy manipulated, just as Chloe will be.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, September 24, 2012

  • ever heard of avg free thats probably more reliable than that lot !!!!

    Report this comment

    i am mostly wrong??

    Monday, September 24, 2012

  • Tis is teh main problem with Poloticians running the country, they have no idea and that's why we are in the mess we are in. Better to bring in some expert's to deal with the day to day running of the country who are interested in doing the job not in being famous or grabbing what they can for themselves.

    Report this comment

    parkeg1

    Monday, September 24, 2012

  • Is this an internship? Newsnight fame seems to enable people and land them with the most 'important' jobs. Anonymous will be sooo scared now, indeed they might just chuck it all in hearing this news....:)

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, September 24, 2012

  • The whole government in the main seems to be run by people on job experience, what a nonsense.

    Report this comment

    Catton Man

    Monday, September 24, 2012

  • I expect she will be good in that job; Just what does Chloe Smith know about cyber attacks? But then again what does Cameron know about running the country or Osborne know about running the economy?

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Monday, September 24, 2012

  • Ha Ha Ha. You couldnt make it up could you !. Like John says, what qualifications has she got to take on this role ?. Yet another publically funded idiot who knows everything about nothing !.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Monday, September 24, 2012

  • Good to see one of the area's MPs is doing well enough to get noticed. On the other hand, Richard Bacon (Emperor Nero) has done nothing since the last election, yet has recieved over half a million of taxpayers pounds in salary and expenses. Why has he not been forced to resign?

    Report this comment

    john smith

    Monday, September 24, 2012

  • Hackers must be quaking at theirconsuls Is she allowed to switch on her computer?

    Report this comment

    No to tory boy

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

  • ingo wagenknecht - and of course there are no "back doors" in free software ......... just like a free lunch isn't always free ;)

    Report this comment

    expat

    Monday, September 24, 2012

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