LONDON Jan 9 The British government said on
Monday it is launching a national inquiry into cyber security to
assess the extent to which the UK is protected from an
ever-increasing tide of attacks worldwide.
The inquiry comes only two days after U.S. intelligence
agencies said Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered an effort
to help U.S president-elect Donald Trump's electoral chances by
discrediting Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential
"Attention has recently focused on the potential
exploitation of the cyber domain by other states and associated
actors for political purposes," said Margaret Beckett, chair of
parliament's joint committee on national security strategy.
"But this is just one source of threat that the government
must address," she added, in a statement.
Cyber attacks in the UK have been on the rise, with
businesses such as banks and retailers increasingly becoming
targets for hackers.
Reported attacks on financial institutions in Britain rose
from just five in 2014 to 75 in the year to October 2016, data
from Britain's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) show. Last
year, retailer Tesco's banking arm suffered an attack which saw
some 2.5 million pounds stolen from 9,000 current accounts.
The inquiry will look at issues including the types of cyber
threats faced by the UK, the extent of human, financial and
technical capital committed to address threats, and the
development of offensive cyber capabilities.
The inquiry forms part of the second National Cyber Security
Strategy launched in November last year, which has a total
budget of 1.9 billion pounds running from 2016 to 2021.
(Reporting by Ritvik Carvalho; editing by Stephen Addison)