back to article Cameron to spend £1bn+ on cyber security

David Cameron will next week allocate more than a billion pounds to a cross-government effort to bolster Britain's cyber security, Whitehall sources have told The Register. The funding will be announced by the Prime Minister as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review. The largest share of the three-year budget will …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    why bother?

    you've cut science funding, there'll be nothing worth nicking from industrial espionage soon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's fine.

      It's not like anyone is going to be able to afford the 12 grand a year to become a scientist any more.

  2. Thom Brown


    So massive cuts everywhere, but for some reason this suddenly needs a LOT of money thrown at it? I suspect Cameron's got a few IT security friends he owes a favour to rubbing their hands with glee.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    I smell something fishy...

    .."Yes we'll be making your online life a lot more safe, but you might need to give-up over a teeny-tiny bit of your right and privacy for us to make it work. Details will follow, but don't worry your fluufy little heads Britain, just go back to sleep, the UKGov are in charge."

  4. jake Silver badge

    Hi! We're from the government!

    We're here to help you!

    (Never mind the word "cyber", which automatically indicates complete and total ignorance of all things computer and network related ... but a billion quid? In THIS economy????!?? You have GOT to be kidding me ... It'll all end in tears ... no government agency, anywhere on this damp rock, has any clue how computers work.)

  5. Anonymous Coward


    they didn't make that announcement the other day for the lulz huh

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It wont stop insecure HMG laptops and USB sticks being left around

    or the data being read if they're stolen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Unless some of that money is spent on disk encryption...

      If some of the money is spent on some form of disk encryption and that becomes mandatory on all HMG laptops and USB devices then it quite clearly could stop this sort of stupidity.

      I'm sure a bulk deal with PGP for all devices across the government wouldn't cost too much. Definitely less than 1billion quid.

      Spending a few quid on education campaigns might help as well.

      (nobody has yet asked if that's a British or American billion...)

  7. alain williams Silver badge

    Obvious solution

    Move away from MS Windows to Linux. Spend 1/2 of the billion doing that and recoup it in savings on license fees.

    You will still need to spend money on IT security. Linux is not the complete answer but is a damn good start.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You can spend the other half-billion on supporting your user-base who haven't ever touched linux, and are phoning you every 2 minutes because the "buttons in my office are all in the wrong place, and i cant take my word[sic] files home with me anymore"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Take it home?

        Anyone phoning up IT support asking to take "government" files home should be reconnected to the HR department to be given their marching orders.

        Anyone not capable of figuring out where buttons have moved is similarly setting themselves up as a target for further "cost cutting" activity.

        A lot of this money is probably being targetted at systems that have sensitive data that needs to be communicated only to other government departments, who would speak the same systems as you.

        And, don't forget, when you're the government, if you tell everyone that to communicate with you they have to save their files in open office compatible formats, then they do that or they get fined for failing to do their tax return or whatever it is.

        Unfortunately UK Gov seem to have a hard on for Bill Gates.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I agree on these points.

          But it won't stop it from happening..

          Also, the documents going home are probably a result of 'homing from work'.

  8. Neal 5

    @It wont stop insecure HMG laptops and USB sticks being left around

    or CD's laden with data being lost in the post.

    Perhaps it's not so much paying back some IT friends, as much as the New Years Honours list is looming and there must be a shortage of worthy entries. I smell bargain hunting here, a billion quid for what wants to be more like 30 billion quids worth of value. Now who did we use for the NHS refurb, they've got to be good value, and with all the right experience of handling a government project in the correct fashion.

    1. H2Nick


      Sadly, with the govt record on IT spending, it's more likely to be £30 billion spent for something that dosen't really work...

  9. James Pickett


    A government project to improve security? Isn't that a contradiction in terms..?

  10. MyHeadIsSpinning
    IT Angle

    Title is mandatory

    Why is it that these government IT projects always cost billions?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'cos their big!

      It is one of the largest employers in the world! How much do expect them to cost?

  11. Piro Silver badge

    ... at the same, these are the same clowns that..

    Said IE6 was fine. Piss that money into the wind!

  12. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Here's a thought:


    Put the money into basic scientific research instead, which will actually reap benefits for the country, rather than for the Old Boys' Club.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      So we spend a billion on research and then let everyone else steal it? Great business plan...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother


    Despite the need to make savings, Cameron wants to waste a billion quid invading everybody's privacy?

    Make no mistake, this is all a straw man to get some extremely powerful surveillance approved and it looks like Cameron has fallen for it.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Yep ...

      ... welcome the new boss, same as the old boss.

  14. MinionZero

    The smell of lobbyist bull shit in the afternoon...

    @"Britain is one of half a dozen nations with the technical expertise to create Stuxnet-style bespoke malware"

    I would just like to ask, WTF are the experts behind this smoking?!

    For a start, *ALL* nations have the technical expertise to create Stuxnet-style bespoke malware because its not nations that do the creating, its skilled hackers who can be in any country. Therefore talk of "half a dozen nations" is ego pandering BS. Oh, only us 6 nations can do this, don't you know. WTF!, FECK OFF!!

    Plus if that isn't bad enough, they get £1 BILLION! for all this ... and to make it even worse we loose £1B from science investment funding and yet piss all the money saved away on this lobbyist security contractor PR story of scaremongering ego pandering BS!!!.

    I bet the lobbyists behind this can't believe their luck. They probably dreamed up this story to prevent government cuts affecting them, yet now they get a lot more extra money! :(

  15. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    So the Interception Modernization Programme & "Mastering the Internet" are fully funded

    That should make all Britons feel *so* secure.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some love the smell of pork barrels, any time of any day

    I reckon I could provide better value for a mere couple million a year or so. Need a couple blokes to cart through the country and map out all the things has with network-y stuff attached, identify obvious weaknesses, and kick the local it manglement into patching up their stuff and keeping the documentation up-to-date. The only really special "power" needed for this, apart from rights to crash any office party and access any IT type info, is the awesome power to give marching orders to anyone obviously incompetent and therefore obstructing proper carrying out of this. Want a "cyber attack" capability? Drop a drone box in every such network. Learn how to use the usual (net)admin tools. Take it from there.

    The problem with big bugdet gestures is that it doesn't integrate well with what's already there. Securing should be an integral part of IT, so it should already be in the budgets. Enforcing proper use of that should therefore cost little extra money, but perhaps a lot of heads.

  17. Jemma

    utter utter f£$kwits!

    Oooh look, we cant afford to pay child support or disability benefit for people with terminal disease (yes, that would be me)... but we can spend £1bn on IT security for people who think that the password 'passwordn+1 where n = years in quango" is pushing the boat out a little too far vis a vis their intelligence requirements...

    We cant even have the entire houses of parliament dragged out and shot (so far as I know treason is still a capital offense, and if what this shower is doing isnt treason I'll have my hat done rare with a pepper sauce)- because the military cant afford the bullets - and all the farmers who used to have shotguns (that havent been nicked by angry cabbies) cant afford the licenses...

    You know, I might be wrong but getting 30% of the vote of the 10% of the voters who actually voted, its generally not known as a majority on Planet Reality.

    Can someone please tell me how this idiotic retards got into power... I'd love to know...

    1. Intractable Potsherd
      Thumb Up


      Fully agree - upvote given. However, the answer to "Can someone please tell me how this idiotic retards got into power... I'd love to know..." is easy - anything was better than the terminally corrupt, stupid, self-serving, incompetent, stupid (I know - it is so important it needs saying twice), back-scratching, uneducated, rights-denying, arrogant bastards we had in before.

  18. GCHQ

    STOP Hassling GCHQ - They are a good and needed service for UK Cyber Security

    Hey guys, but you haven't thought about the flipside of this for people in computer security - this is great news!! Absolutely astounding, I wasn't sure what would happen with GCHQ, but this is the best news I could hear for a year.

    Excellent stuff, also all you whining about how bad the government is, GCHQ is at the forefront of technology, and monitors all UK communications - they take care of you, and all you can do is complain. I for one am happy; as currently within cyber security in the UK there is a BIG skills shortage, and it wont be anywhere near filled at all for the next decade => better salaries for me.

    Also, GCHQ is an excellent employer, and I look forward to working for them.

    Also, at some of the people posting in these forums obviously have no IT security background knowledge at all. Please, if you are going to post comments in this thread AT LEAST have a degree in COMPUTER SCIENCE OR RELATED SUBJECT.

    Please, stop belittling and commenting on things that you may know nothing at all about. Also, some countries are not educationally/ technologically advanced enough to have trained individuals to the level of stux-net style bespoke malware. Think about it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A degree in "cyber security"?

      WELL, do YOU have one THEN?

      Or do you just draw an excellent salary by showing up at that there "cyber"-loving place every day, possibly snooping on everyone else with or without valid reason to do so?

      Do tell. Inquiring commentards want to know.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Davids Friends

    I'm guessing a few of them are in the "Cyber-Security" business. It certainly has a nice tory friendly ring to it, although Labour were hardly immune to snake oil salesmen.

  20. bugalugs

    right click... Posts by GCHQ

    1 post • joined Thursday 14th October 2010 20:05 GMT

    that is all

  21. Jon 86

    Yeah right!

    "David Cameron will next week allocate more than a billion pounds to a cross-government effort to bolster Britain's cyber security" - and the defense system still get pwnt!

  22. Intractable Potsherd

    It is seriously worrying ...

    ... that there are people with enough power, and enough determination, to keep persuading governments to bring in this anti-libertarian shit. I think it is time for El Reg to find and identify these people so that we know who we are dealing with, and can respond accordingly.

  23. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Invisible XSSXXXXPorts ..... a Valuable Mutually Beneficial Earner in Prime Markets

    "The military will also benefit from the spending. Officials in the Ministry of Defence are currently liaising on training with Pentagon counterparts who set up US Cyber Command. A corps of British cyber security personnel will be tasked with defending military networks, and attacking those of battlefield enemies."

    Is a corps of British cyber security personnel tasked with defending US military networks, and attacking those of battlefield enemies?

    Are US Cyber Command Gear Equipped for Virtual Control and CHAOS [Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems]?

    What is their Core Driver and Source Provider?

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