I read a very interesting article today on Timeonline about the evolution of the British cyber defense program. The program started out with the British military having to deal with Russian spam messages and getting e-mail accounts hacked. From this it evolved into the two current branches of British cyber defense consisting of the Office for Cyber Security (OCS) and the secretive Cyber Security Operations Centre.
The OCS consists of 14 people, and will have a full contingency of 20 later this year. This department was created in response to threats to the British infrastructure by Chinese hackers. In 2009, Britain suffered 300 cyber intrusions against her government and military systems.
The CyberSecurity Operations Centre is located in Cheltenham within the Government Communications Headquarters. One of its responsibilities is defining cyber war rules of engagement and retaliatory cyberstrikes in the case that critical infrastructure are attacked and disabled.
“Everything that happens to us is called an ‘attack’,” said a senior official with a lead role in British cyber operations, “[but] most of what we see on a large scale … is about the exfiltration of data — theft, not an attack.” There exists, however, an overlap between the interests of hostile state intelligence agencies and cybercriminal syndicates seeking to steal intellectual data for profit.
Russian cybercrime syndicates, better known as partnerka, lead commercial espionage in Europe and are known to have links with Harry and his comrades in the FSB. China has its own dedicated cyber operations headquarters within the People’s Liberation Army but also holds top rank in the league of cyberhostile countries — the list used by Western security companies to warn business clients of cyber-threat.
Read the full article at Timeonline.