back to article UK faces hacking doom, but think of the money, security startups!

The UK government is hit by more than 33,000 pieces of malicious email a day, ranging from casual phishing to targeted espionage attacks. Chloe Smith, minister for political and constitutional reform at the Cabinet Office, told delegates at the Infosecurity Europe conference on Wednesday that despite this onslaught cyber …


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  1. jake Silver badge

    Mindlessly using "cyber" as a hopefully useful term ...

    ... merely points out to the cognizant that you are completely clueless about computers & networking.

    But then, why would anyone with half a brain think that Chloe Smith, who is apparently the appointed "minister for political and constitutional reform at the Cabinet Office", would actually understand modern communications technology to begin with?

    Honestly. The mind boggles.

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Mindlessly using "cyber" as a hopefully useful term ...

      Well, if 'cyber' is shorthand for clueless about infosec, "government minister" is synonymous with clueless about IT. The two terms in close proximity indicate you are about to hear from a ventriloquist's dummy with a consultant's hand up its jacksie. The other consultant's hand is meanwhile picking the taxpayer's pocket.

      1. Elmer Phud

        Re: Mindlessly using "cyber" as a hopefully useful term ...

        "The UK government is hit by more than 33,000 pieces of malicious email a day, ranging from casual phishing to targeted espionage attacks"

        I got a 'targeted espionage attack' 10 minutes ago --

        It was a remnant of the Hotmail address hack from last year.

        As for 'malicious email' I wander over the the spam folder every now and then and empty it.

        If things are so bad why is spokesperson bigging it up so much?

        Oh, we need to clean it all up and tighten the screws to protect pensioners (who don't want effing computers forced on them).

    2. bonkers
      Thumb Up


      OED definition:Cyber- relating to or characteristic of the culture of computers, information technology, and virtual reality.

      Cyber attack and cyber security are reasonable terms for a minister to use, they're good at baby-kissing and, one hopes, policy. not IT.

      Ok cyber-terms not as definitive as infosec - but even that's geekily overabbreviated, a bit too "street" for a politician.

      We should welcome this initiative as an unusually well thought-out plan marrying the traditional UK strengths in this, to a bold position predicting that IT security will be a key technology in the near future, more so even than now and that government needs to get involved to put the UK in a position where we have a safer cyberspace for rent.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @bonkers (was: Re: Cyber)

        "OED definition:Cyber- relating to or characteristic of the culture of computers, information technology, and virtual reality."

        You missed "first known use: 1991".

        Try "First known use in the English Language in 1948". Seems that even the OED is clueless on the details of the subject matter ... CDC was selling "Cyber" labeled computers in the 1970s.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The gravy train rolls on and on.....

    "The cyber security element of this scheme will fund 100 companies with Innovation Vouchers of up to £5,000 each"

    Oh great. The only SMEs going after such a paltry sum will be bottom feeding scum. Any SME with any half decent ideas or software products will know that £5,000 is a meaningless amount of money.

    Meanwhile the government happily continues to throw millions and the same old useless contractors to deliver projects that run over-budget, over-time and don't deliver the results.

  3. NIck Hunn
    Thumb Down

    First learn to count

    We start off with 33,000 malicious emails a day, but by the time Chloe Smith starts to wax lyrical halfway through that's down to 33,000 a monnth, or just 1,000 a day. Even assuming that users only get one malicious emial per day, which is very low, that implies that only 1,000 people have government email accounts.

    So someone either needs to tell George Osborne about an unexpected level of cuts, or take Chloe out of the kindergarten and tell her something about the real world. 1,000 phishing emails a day is not DOOM. We don't need CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY to counter it. But it would be nice to have a Government minister that doesn't descend into braindead mode the second they encounter a number bigger than ten.

    Out of interest, I wonder how the cybersecurity folk like being lumped into the same industry sector as G4S security guards. Although now we've got 26,000 of them, there's probably enough to hold a red flag in front of every government PC.

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Behind Firewalls is akin to living in the Jail System ......

    ...... and being charged with being in the care of that which is largely unknown and unpredictable. Silence is not a viable progressive nor constructive creative option*

    "On average over 33,000 malicious emails are blocked at the Gateway to the Government Secure Intranet every month," Smith said. "These are likely to contain - or link to - sophisticated malware, often sent by highly capable cyber criminals and state-sponsored groups. A far greater number of malicious emails and spam, but less sophisticated emails and spam are blocked each month."

    I wonder of that explains the second bouncing back of this email to CESG ....... which would probably need to adjust its dodgy gateway algorithm somewhat, although that can be fraught with all manner of new vulnerabilities to recognise cannot be avoided, and that is most probably the present state of spooky play everywhere with state and non state actor players realising that secrets are a thing of the past and to expect to be able to continue to wield them with any expectation of exclusive advantageous anonymous efficacy is a note for history to remember ..... or maybe RH is a generic player and phisherman

    Date: Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Subject: Slow Days in the Office are an Offence to Imagination and a Challenge to Ancient Wisdoms


    Hi, Richard,

    "Therefore, CESG PKI experts must be the purest form of security consultant.

    Discuss." ….

    :-) I agree. What are your views on Practical Virtual Reality Presentations as Future Content for the Creation of Live Worlds in LOVE's Live Operational Virtual Environments.

    A GCHQ IC Enterprise for Organisations with Familial Business Interests/Right Royal Problems to Resolve with a Permanent Fix for Future Situations Requiring Similar Solution?

    Yeah, that would be a Great Starting Point for Bletchley Park Type Channel AIRuns in Active Operation of Stealth AIMissions Server Support of Future Supply of Future Supplies.

    A Government led Dark Private Pirate Horse to Vanquish Trojan and Plunderer via unconventionally lustful means and strange erotic and exotic memes would be an extremely pleasurable program to Mentor and Monitor/Advise, Devise and Act upon, should one so desire to enter into LOVE's Great IntelAIgent Game where the Perfect AIMission is to Deliver Heavenly Delights on Earth.

    How hard is it to Create Heavenly Outposts on Earth with Sweet Brothels for Sticky Desires' Passions and Needs with Immaculate Feeds.

    I do appear to waxed somewhat more lyrical than may be absolutely necessary, Richard, but there's no point in one being uninformed and/or misinformed with disinformed contradictory information, whenever so much more is possible with that which we do now know … although probably not too widely known generally whenever security provides protection.

    I think one has to accept, Richard, the Counterintuitive Proposition that the only secure protection of virtual identity in cyber space systems is Full Disclosure with Nothing Unknown able to be found. Then is One as One is and Wants to Be. A Perfectly Honest Rare Being with the Sun in ITs Shades Every Day.

    CESG does do Virtual Reality Presentations on the QT, surely? How are tricks progressing? Is there anything you need that we can feed?


    * Governments, I suppose, do use trolls and shills to try and keep the lid on developments beyond their control and that of any of their partners, but such doesn't stop the inevitable, it just confirms its arrival?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Behind Firewalls is akin to living in the Jail System ......

      "Dr. John Grohol's home of down-to-earth, reliable and objective mental health symptoms and treatment information" link

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Behind Firewalls is akin to living in the Jail System ......

        Thanks for the compendium of vulnerabilities which can be sublimely exercised and exploited to great personal advantage of both patient and caregiver. AC, whenever in possession of that which is needed.

        And upvoted for being uncommonly helpful in listing all that require care and attention after correct diagnosis, which itself is an art to be mastered, for so very few are any good at supplying anything curative and creative.

    2. Wayland Sothcott 1

      Re: Behind Firewalls is akin to living in the Jail System ......

      The Man From Mars is back. The firewall must be very sophisticated if it could tell that this grammatically correct email is gibberish. But then how would government be able to send emails through this firewall?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jobs = Political Currency...

    "UK faces hacking doom, but think of the money, security startups!"

    Great headline which I cynically read as translating into: 'Whatever! We don't care about the risks. We don't even understand them. We're not the 'IT Crowd' after-all! What we do get is-- its jobs for the lads! That's all that matters to keep our rosy positions. After all, Jobs = Political Currency! But hey, we rely on the private sector to create jobs. We just create the paperwork!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    33,000 pieces of malicious email a day

    "The UK government is hit by more than 33,000 pieces of malicious email a day, ranging from casual phishing to targeted espionage attacks."

    Who is is going to protect us from this UNIX malware?

  7. Wzrd1 Silver badge


    I earned the right to access things classified. The MAJORITY of which was PRC, a modicum was of RBN.

    But, do what you wish and will, providing ammunition to trade competitors...

    It's precisely how we'll manage Airstrip One. :/

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