back to article Terrorists seek to commit deadly 'cyber attacks' in UK, says Chancellor Osborne

Following Prime Minister David Cameron's re-announcement of funding increases for UK security personnel, Chancellor George Osborne delivered a speech today to GCHQ workers explaining that the increase is necessary as ISIL is seeking to "develop the capability" to launch deadly cyber attacks against British infrastructure. How …


  1. Archie Woodnuts

    And yet

    None of these clowns seem to be wondering why critical infrastructure has any presence at all that's reachable from the web or indeed, whether they should do something about that.

    No, no. Much better to surveil the masses and use an atrocity to further your political aims. Loathsome.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Govt. now expanding capability to launch cyber attacks against the British public

    Internet crawling more slowly recently? Ping times from your UK address to a local server inexplicably increased from 10ms to over 100ms?

    Surely it is only a coincidence that under normal operation a ping from the UK to a US server also takes around 100ms. That's sufficient time to route your IP traffic via GCHQ to the USA and back. A Virginmedia tech said last night they had an unusually high number of customers complaining about their internet speed yesterday, but that the "fault" would be put right in a few hours. Today it was working as normal again. Were "they" testing a new mass data slurper?

    Reg needs an icon for "I'll get my tinfoil hat..."

  3. Haku

    I knew this would happen, because it now happens every time terrorists attack the western world.

    Effectively the terrorists are attacking vast populations by-proxy, they only have to cause a bad situation for the government(s) to overreact and erode the people's rights and privacy in the name of fighting terrorism.

    And if you speak out against the mass surveillance in the name of fighting terrorism you risk being called unpatriotic or even siding with the terrorists.

    The answer? I don't know, but it's certainly not the forced removal of rights and privacy because it won't stop anyone on a warpath to cause death and destruction..

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon
      Black Helicopters

      Re: I knew this would happen, because it now happens every time terrorists attack the western world.

      " because it won't stop anyone on a warpath to cause death and destruction.."

      To which the only conclusion can be...

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: I knew this would happen, because it now happens every time terrorists attack the western world.

        Welcome to the discussion squelched 14 years ago.

        Also: Mindless terrorists? The truth about Isis is much worse

        Biggest trolls EVER.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: I knew this would happen, because it now happens every time terrorists attack the western world.

      and this is how terrorists win, by making the Gov in its fear overreact and impose greater controls over the populace - alienating the populace and creating a situation whereby the Gov actually does have to worry about what the populace may do.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it's a good day to dig up the bad news

    And now we REALLY must go along with this legal supervision. See what happened in Paris? See???


    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: it's a good day to dig up the bad news

      Ah, you mean the country that already had these types of measures in place? Helped them out quite a bit, didn't it?

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Avoiding Collateral Damage Demands Accurate Targeting for Maximum Strategic Effect

    Do the likes of a pontificating Cameron and Osborne and May and Hammond etc etc realise that they paint an indelible bullseye upon themselves and supporting Parliamentarians for IS sleeper terrorists to critically aim at, and that will last forever too, given the nature of the beast?

    Or do governments think themselves immune and lifelong protected from crazy forces and enraged sources of madness and mayhem?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Follow the Money

    Why do I suspect that regardless of any new surveillance powers that are requested or approved, the one thing that will definitely follow and be approved is a budget increase?

  7. mhoulden

    Cyber Plan, Cyber Plan, Plans Whatever a Cyber Can

    I quite liked this post from the legal blogger David Allen Green, who realised you could replace "cyber" with "spider" and have something that makes as much sense: Eg: "To those who believe that spider attack can be done with impunity I say this: that impunity no longer exists."

    George Osborne likes his meaningless little slogans, like "long term economic plan", "security" and "Northern Powerhouse", and I think "cyber" is the latest one.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hopefully terrorists WILL pursue this

    If they waste their time with stuff like this, like Al Qaeda has wasted untold years trying to repeat their 'success' of 9/11 by continuing to target blowing up or making airplanes crash, that prevents them from doing things that are both more likely to be successful as well as harder to defend against.

    Paris was a step forward down this road of realization for terrorists. Instead of trying to attack well defended targets, they chose more random locations like a rock concert. While we may be able to step up security at major locations like say Heathrow, the Louvre, the Statue of Liberty, etc. we can't possibly maintain that level of security in every location where people will gather - or even throughout more obvious targets like airports.

    For instance, I've long thought terrorists would be more successful in attacking airports if instead of trying to get bombs through security, they simply get themselves into a big long line caused by that security and blow themselves up while surrounded by dozens or hundreds of people waiting in line. How could we respond to that? We can't, because no matter what perimeter we set up, it will cause a line waiting to pass through it, where a suicide vest or car bomb will be effective at killing bystanders waiting in that line!

    The example from the article of walking down the street and shooting people is a good one. Previously people might have only felt exposed to terror in certain locations like the airport, but if they had a few episodes like this they'd be worried about walking down the street. If instead of attacking major cities like London, Paris and NYC they took their "walk by shootings" to random smaller cities like Oxford, Lyon and Jersey City, people would feel vulnerable everywhere, not just if they lived in or visited a major city.

    At that point we'd either have to be fearful and hide in our homes all the time while living under a police state that did little to actually protect us, or decide that it really doesn't matter because the odds of dropping dead on the street from a heart attack or in a car crash on the way across town are and would remain much higher than the odds of dying at the hands of a terrorist, and we shouldn't worry about it so much. The attitude of the people of Israel being a good example there.

  9. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The Enemy Within and in Need of Worlds at War to Stave of Economic Collapse/Ponzi Markets Meltdown?

    Here be a contrary view that disagrees fundamentally with radicalising chancellors of dodgy exchequers with austere remote programs to promote and mediate.........

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The Enemy Within...Stave of Economic Collapse/Ponzi Markets Meltdown?

      Excellent post - this is much closer to the truth.

      Is it just me - or strange how Governments seem to suddenly and conveniently possess knowledge soon after an attack that more attacks are on the way??

      And how is it that after 9/11 and the massive amount of surveillance we now have not just the Al Quaeda but IS, ISIS, Daish, ISIL and <add you next terrorist organisation here after the next attack so can have an excuse to create more war(Profit) and introduce more laws to take freedoms away) ?

  10. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    "develop the capability" to launch deadly cyber attacks

    But can they do it in 45 minutes?

  11. Commswonk

    Re: "If our electricity supply, or our air traffic control, were.....attacked online,

    From various contributors:

    Just don't connect the ATC, hospitals', power stations etc to anywhere online. Is it that hard? after all, these systems worked fine 'off-line' for decades before the internet even existed.

    Well, don't put them on the fucking internet then.

    All key infrastructure should be entirely isolated from the internet. Every time I hear about someone who's hacked NASA or the Pentagon my first thought is always "why do they still have this data connected to the internet?"

    Beancounter him say "internet connectivity cheaper than Private Wires".

    The outcome is thus inevitable. Non - technical people making technical decisions; the outcome is rarely pretty.

  12. Graham Marsden
    Big Brother

    Cyber Attacks and Hackers and Malware...

    ... Oh my!

    So give up your freedoms, sheeple, the bad guys are out there trying to erm, destroy your freedoms...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In other words...

  14. druck Silver badge

    Economics and poltics rather than terror

    As the article said, an AK-47 on the street is far more effective an instrument of terror than a hack. The on-line infra structure is at far greater threat from state sponsored economic espionage, as we've seen with gigabytes of material from US defence contractors slipping off to somewhere behind the great firewall, and also many cases of massive disruption of systems of any country which has dared to oppose Vlad's bouts of adventurism.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A proper cyber attack on industrial infrastructure (like Stuxnet) depends on dozens of skilled computer scientists backed by intelligence gathering at the heart of the target. That is an infrastructure that costs billions, and relies on harnessing talents drawn from nationwide pool of recruits trained at leading universities - excellent mathematicians, physicists, electronic engineers, etc.

    ISIS, on the other hand, does not beleive in science. It is a celebration of ignorance and violent idiocy. They have as much chance of shutting down a British nuclear power station as my goldfish does.

    1. druck Silver badge

      If your goldfish got together with a few (thousand) others and made it in to the wrong part of the secondary heat exchangers, it could well shut down the station!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The reality of the moment

    Terrorists attacks will continue and grow in scale because the public and politicians think it won't happen to them. The terrorists will always have the upper hand but a worldwide comprehensive plan to exterminate this evil will be effective over time. If an intense action to rid the world of these terrorists isn't a perpetual effort, then it won't succeed. There will always be evil people looking to kill and terrorize other people to promote their ideology. The only solution is to eradicate all terrorist. The naïve fools who believe a political solution can contain terrorism are in deep denial.


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