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UK government to create cyber security crack squad

04 Dec 2012
big ben westminster

Flame was one of several new advanced malware variants discovered targeting Iranian systems this year. The cyber espionage tool was the first malware to successfully be able to replicate Microsoft update certificates, allowing it to spread across Windows systems faster than most other attacks.

The malware's advanced capabilities caused concern across the security industry, leading numerous vendors including F-Secure and Microsoft to cite Flame as a game changer in the threat landscape.

Despite the increase in the complexity of attacks, Maude reiterated senior government officials' previous claims that the UK is already taking appropriate measures to protect itself against the evolving cyber threat.

"We can't stand still. We are in a race to build sufficient cyber defences to match the growing volume and dependence of our online economic, security and social interests. It's a race we can only win by working together - government, industry, academia and the public. This is as much a shared responsibility as a shared effort," he said.

"We've made progress raising awareness but this is only half the story. We will continue to improve education, stimulating cyber skills, support to business and industry, increasing cyber confidence.

"All of this means the UK is in a much stronger position than we were a year ago. But one thing is certain - to succeed going forward we will have to work together, to share our resources, skills and intelligence."

Maude's guarded optimism regarding the UK's cyber future was mirrored by several security vendors and experts including managing director of BAE Systems Detica, Martin Sutherland.

"When we look back in five years' time we will see that the government's strategy has provided a catalyst for a series of innovative and useful activities, particularly around how industry can respond to and protect itself from cyber incidents - most notably the recent Cyber Incident Response Scheme announced by GCHQ," he said.

"Nonetheless, there is still a long way to go before we can say that we are successfully countering cyber threats."

As well as its investment in law enforcement, the UK Cyber Security Strategy has seen several other initiatives implemented.

These include GCHQ's newly released cyber security best practice guidelines for UK industry and the creation of a new Cyber Incident Response disaster management service.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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