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By Chris Williams
17th September 2010
Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, has claimed the internet has made the
threat of espionage by foreign countries higher than ever before, but
insisted it is "relatively straightforward" to block attempts to steal
"The overall likelihood of any particular entity being the subject of
state espionage has probably never been higher, though paradoxically
many of the vulnerabilities exploited both in cyber espionage and
traditional espionage are relatively straightforward to plug if you are
aware of them," he said.
The common sense call is relevant to ongoing work by the year-old Office
of Cyber Security in the Cabinet Office to improve basic information
security across government and in businesses.
MI5, officially known as the Security Service, is responsible for
counter-espionage. Evans has previously written to the bosses of big
British companies to warn them of the threat online, particularly from
hackers with links to the Chinese intelligence services.
Cyber security is a key issue for the ongoing Strategic Defence and
Security Review, which is due to report next month. Following the first
national Cyber Security Strategy last year, efforts to protect UK
networks and data are expected to receive a large budget boost, against
a background of cuts to other areas of defence and security.
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