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Security The Military

UK Launches Dedicated Cyber Security Agency 60

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the bet-they-get-free-foil-hats dept.
Jack Spine writes "The UK government is launching an office dedicated to cyber attack and defence. The Office of Cyber Security will focus on protecting Britain's IT infrastructure, and will be similar to the US Cyber Command model. While the Pentagon Cyber Command will be lead by the NSA, the UK Cyber Security Operations Centre, which will coordinate UK cyber efforts, will be based at GCHQ in Cheltenham."
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UK Launches Dedicated Cyber Security Agency

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  • Will this department handle weeding out dissenters or is that a different section?
    • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @10:21AM (#28466077)

      When the Thought Police are knocking on your door, think "I'm not home".

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Just look at all the bleedin aerials on that van! I wonder if they will sell me a fish license as well!

    • Re:Thought Police? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @11:06AM (#28466617) Journal
      Given that it's run by GCHQ, that will probably be some other department. GCHQ is full of competent people and manages to be a lot more successfully apolitical than other parts of the security service. Probably because they already know all of the elected politicians' dirty secrets. These are the guys who invented RSA decades before it was first published, not the guys who leave briefcases full of classified documents on trains.
      • Re:Thought Police? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hughk (248126) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @11:27AM (#28466863) Journal

        Funnily enough, I have met some people who worked for GCHQ. They are very competent, they do not talk directly about their work but sometimes you may end up a conversation where they may believe you are in a similar line of business and may drop the odd comment that makes you think they work in the 'doughnut'. It has a problem in that they are limited by UK civil servant salaries and that it is probably the most secretive of UK organisations in that it is heavily compartmentalised. The guys who invented public-key cryptography before Diffie-Hellman and RSA were limited by these walls and didn't realise that it could be commercially interesting.

  • GCHQ is basically the UK NSA. So it looks like the cousins plans are pretty much the same as ours.

    • by digitalchinky (650880) <dtchky@gmail.com> on Thursday June 25, 2009 @10:43AM (#28466335)

      There are 5 of these agencies, they all share information. Expect other countries to follow along with the same types of press release. In practical terms, these agencies are already viewed as the leading authorities on this topic anyway. They each have many hundreds of domestic customers, and their public websites are indicative of them providing information of this nature when requested. These particular press releases are likely naught more than political maneuvering anyway. Probably just to 'remind' a particular foreign government or two that they are on top of the game.

      CSE (Canada)
      DSD (Australia)
      GCHQ (UK)
      GCSB (New Zealand)
      NSA (USA)

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I agree, for example, the government has been running a training/certfication programme for penetration tests of classified networks for getting on for 10+ years...http://www.cesg.gov.uk/products_services/iacs/check/index.shtml. They shouldn't get complacent, but they generally run ahead of the curve.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by poetmatt (793785)

      I wonder if this bears a ton of significance considering the timing of the US equivalent being appointed ? [scmagazineus.com]

  • by Fzz (153115) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @10:19AM (#28466061)
    From TFA:

    The government will develop information systems to allow it to launch denial-of-service attacks and to spy on chosen targets, said the official. "We will have a whole range of offensive capabilities, including distributed denial-of-service," said the official. "DDoS is not a first response -- we definitely need graduated responses."

    You might have thought it would be better to fund development of mechanisms to prevent or mitigate DDoS attacks, rather than rely on using them. The bad guys will always be able to command more bots than any legal response could.

    • The great firewall of britian has determined you are french and thus are not allowed in. :P
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by janwedekind (778872)

      You might have thought it would be better to fund development of mechanisms to prevent or mitigate DDoS attacks, rather than rely on using them. The bad guys will always be able to command more bots than any legal response could.

      You also might have thought it would be better to prevent Microsoft Windows rather than using it. But I guess it's too late in both cases because the stuff is owned, licensed, and controlled by third parties.

    • *laughs*

      That's like saying gangsters can command more guns than any legal response--in a war zone. Against the military.

      This is government and national security that's being discussed, in a war situation. I don't think they actually care what the legal options for civilians vs. criminals are. Military law and treaties are what's relevant here.

      Is there anything in the Geneva Convention or military law that stops the government from using every possible computer to take down an enemy attacker's infrastructure

  • We just do... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EddyPearson (901263) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @10:25AM (#28466119) Homepage

    ...what the US tells us to, don't we?

    *sigh*

    • Re:We just do... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday June 25, 2009 @10:29AM (#28466171)
      Tell me, is there anything in your life you DON'T blame the U.S. for?
    • by mtremsal (1554627)

      Maybe it happened the other way round...

      Kidding.

      • Re:We just do... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday June 25, 2009 @11:14AM (#28466703) Journal

        Not sure why you're kidding. There's a lot of that kind of thing going on between the UK and US governments. Typically, someone on one side of the pond has a moderately good idea. Someone on the other side takes it to its logical conclusion. Someone back on the first side takes it a bit further. Then, they harmonise their efforts by taking it to ridiculous extremes.

        It's fun to blame Americans for everything (and, let's face it, they are so easy to bait), but often we're as much to blame for their stupid behaviour as we are for theirs. Take the Iraq war fiasco, for example. The US and UK intelligence services met up, and admitted to each other that they didn't really have much evidence. Both sides went back and said to their superiors something along the lines of 'we don't have much evidence, but they've got this and we think they've got some more serious evidence that they don't want to share with us for national security reasons'. These then made it into reports to politicians. A few years later, they both realised that both sides were telling the truth (unheard of in intelligence circles) and they really didn't know anything.

  • Anyone else want to cyber with me?

  • Torchwood? They've coped with the cybermen before.
  • Naughty boys (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PhilHibbs (4537) <snarks@gmail.com> on Thursday June 25, 2009 @10:48AM (#28466399) Homepage Journal

    Lord West [bbc.co.uk]:

    "You need youngsters who are deep into this stuff... If they have been slightly naughty boys, very often they really enjoy stopping other naughty boys," he said.

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      "You need youngsters who are deep into this stuff... If they have been slightly naughty boys, very often they really enjoy stopping other naughty boys," he said.

      I'd rather stop the government getting ever-more control over and intrusion into my life.

    • by hughk (248126)
      The problem is that it is very difficult for anyone whio has been a naughty boy to work for such an agency.
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The problem is that it is very difficult for anyone whio has been a naughty boy to work for such an agency.

        Sometimes you feel like making your own pizza. Other times, you just feel like making a phone call. I'm told Anonymous delivers.

  • The Daily Telegraph and Guido Fawkes report their websites have suddenly gone down.

    Google also appears to be unable to retrieve searches for "MP's Expenses", "Iraq War Public Enquiry", "Is John Bercow the modern Incitatus?", "UK CCTV", "Metropolitan Police brutality", or "MOD data left on hard disc on train", amongst many other things...
  • They're going to have to work hard to keep up with the brave efforts of the rest of the government to completely undermine whatever data security actually exists. Leaving unencrypted information on a train? What can man do against such reckless incompetence?

  • A good way to sink more money ! Has anyone see a cyberterrorist ?
  • The UK has the BEST cyber security known, in the weekend when people MOST have time to do any work to fill in or request this that or other form on a UK government website, they find the website is taken down "for maintenence", every weekend, week in week out. So much for a 24/7 365 information economy the government keep on BS'ing about.

The only thing cheaper than hardware is talk.

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