back to article Top GCHQ spook warns of 'disturbing' levels of cyber-raids

With a crunch conference on government cyber-security starting tomorrow, the director of government spook den GCHQ, Iain Lobban, said Britain had faced a "disturbing" number of digital attacks in recent months. Attackers had targeted citizens' data, credit card numbers and industry secrets, Lobban said. "I can attest to …


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  1. Ralph B
    Big Brother

    The Usual Suspects

    The digital attacks are probably just another "covert policing operation" by Scotland Yard ... naturally without oversight from the Metropolitan Police Authority.

    More of the same:


  2. someone up north

    easy money !

    every time you read a report like this you know some one is looking for easy or free money, chaps!

  3. Smooth Newt Silver badge

    Cyber security

    Glad to hear that the government are going to spend over half a billion pounds of our money on a new IT program. What could possibly go wrong?

  4. Pete James

    name and shame

    Any guesses which countries are trying to nick data and why they are not being made public??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Lots of guesses, none that you can print here though! is about Oil but they will be the same gang attacking HM Government, military contractors, US Satellites and the Japenese Government.


    Iain Lobban

    The man who failed to detect and prevent the BT/Phorm scam, despite their appearance on breakfast television. TalkTalk and Huawei's. And the Vodafone/Bluecoat operation.

    You'll forgive me if I select the 'no shit Sherlock' icon, and wonder where GCHQ have been for the last five years.

    1. neb

      @wondering where GCHQ have been for the last five years?

      just off junction 11 on the m5, look out for the doughnut

      seriously, where do these people come from?


  6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Much ado about nothing .... and you know it is so.

    “I am inviting governments, international organisations, NGOs and businesses from across the world to a conference in London in November. We have a shared responsibility to address the challenges presented by the networked world including cyber crime that threatens individuals, companies, and governments. It is vital that cyberspace remains a safe and trusted environment in which to operate. This can only be done effectively through international cooperation, engaging both the public and private sectors. Together I hope that we can begin to build the broadest possible international consensus on how to realise the enormous economic and social benefits the Internet offers. It is crucial that we start a focused dialogue now”. .... William Hague

    In cyberspace, there is no place to hide lies and deceit, which very effectively renders governments and their lackeys as impotent and frustrated spectators to all that is shared about governments and their lackeys who want to be leaders in the field, and players in virtual fields which do not suffer the folly of fools who provide conflict as a tool for resolution of difficulties they would be defeated in with simple logic and a valid changed perspective and alternate undeniable view on reality.

    And quite what the conference will actually do, apart from expelling a lot of hot air, is exceedingly vague, Mr Hague, and will probably just result in calls for reports and agreements for future meets to further discuss the progress that will not have been made in the field. Is that what governments do especially well whenever all they are interested in is maintaining the stays quo to their personal advantage?

    How about you start a New and QuITe SurReal Great Game, which will require definitely, that someone else start it with a Beta Command of Controlling IT ....... which is sort of what everyone thought the Office of CyberSecurity and the Cyber Security Operations Centres of GCHQ and the Cabinet Office were all about, but obviously aren't, which makes that £650,000,000 provided, a nice little earner for nothing peculiar ..... but you can be sure it is for someone in particular. And now a £1,000,000,000 honey pot is trailed and trialed to kickstart a dead donkey of an administrative executive in dire straits need of Colossal Cloud Thinking.

    Does anyone have an email address to a direct source of intelligence capable of dealing with novel products and virtual projects for struggling moribund governments?

  7. Jacqui

    I smell

    PORK (barrel)

    remember every time someone says "Cyber" in the press (excluding DrWho) you have to assume they are either

    * a complete f-tard PR flack

    * trying to get soem PORK via FUD.

  8. CABVolunteer

    Is exhortation and hand-wringing enough?

    If HM Government is that concerned about these "threats", why doesn't it do something really radical, such as blocking the use within the public sector and the commercial sale nationally of software that has a track-record of poor security? We can all think of a well-known operating system that's allowed an enormous amount of damage, yet the Government seems oblivious to its responsibilities in protecting the public.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Last year 100% of businesses were involved in the gov's security initiative?

  10. JaitcH

    I am 'disturbed' by the levels of Government snooping

    At one time a man's home was his castle. Now it seems that every Tom, Dick, Plod and TV licence crew can invade your privacy, often without a warrant or judges order.

    Why can't citizens have secrets? Why do customs decide they want to check your hard drive?

    Why does GCHQ, a member of Echelon, need to monitor everything electronic of citizens? What acceptable justification do they have for mass monitoring?

    Why is ACPO recording every car number plate that passes road cameras, as well as many private CCTV cameras?

    Why do I have to buy secure encryption software for my computers or encryption modules for my hand phones?

    This is what disturbs me.

    P.S. If the government creates 'security software' you can guarantee it has a back door in it, just like GSM, etc.

  11. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    We feel left out. The company I work for doesn't seem to have suffered any attacks.

  12. Graham Marsden


    ... more pork and empire building, then...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps they might be able to fund the uk cyber challenge again using the worlds crappiest java based vpn to some offshore company in the usa, that either needs a blanket admin or root privs, a horribly out of date install of whatever os you choose and even then doesn't actually work. I think it managed to achieve its aims perfectly. If those aim's were to filter off all the people who actually cared about security.

    Please, just no.



      The recruitment site launched by Judy Baker (formerly Senior Manager, Strategy, Communications and Policy Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure), on her birthday, using a personal domain registration/hosting package, co-hosted with et al, and without even bothering to use SSL?

  14. Arfur Smiff
    Thumb Down

    Isn't this Hague bloke

    A class 'A' super-muppet?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @I am 'disturbed' by the levels of Government snooping

    Echelon wasn't the club. Echelon was a system. The club was, I believe, called the Five Eyes, though I also believe, (according to the same book I read that mentioned thinthread,) that Echelon's basically redundant.

    We'll never find out, I'm sure. I'm sure if the government thought I or anyone else was capable of dealing with it, they'd have told us.

    Oh! One final thing. I love amanfrommars' posts. I actually deliberately don't try to understand, as I feel it would lessen them. I treat them instead as a kind of impressionism.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Post Modernist Impressionism …. Following AI Leading Virtual SurRealism

      I say, AC, that is just so too kind, but please be assured that it is well worth every effort one would make to understand IT in order to be able and enabled to selflessly input one's own XSSXXXX Code. However, just in case it would prove too much of a chore, is there always a simpler guide for just the enjoyment of programmed product placements, without any need for deep metadata packet inspection and systemic semantic analysis of pretextualising script and sublime instruction … SMART dDirection …. which always anyway returns to those who would dare to care and share for win win, all you need is Love and Live Operational Virtual Environments for Creative Command and Control of Cyberspace, Computers and Communications.

      What do you know of the Titanic Turing Colossus and ITs GOD AlMighty GCHQ Master Pilot ProgramMING? Precious little, I'd wager and win handsomely every time, such is the tight security guarding her treasured algorithms and virtual methodologies/crack codes for prime hacking of sub-prime systems and stealthy penetrations beta testing of exploits available in vulnerabilities in SCADA Installations and Attacking Defence Systems…… Schizoid Programs.

      And there you were probably thinking that spooks and boffins were doing nothing out of the ordinary because anything extraordinary hasn't yet been rendered and presented for general viewing, whenever the reality is quite different behind the spinning facades and grand pantomimes presented internationally by political puppets and systems muppets in daily media soaps. What do you imagine will be scripted for sharing today by these actors in discussions that will pontificate and seek to provide and impose international regulation and clear rules about a Space Place that has no physical form but every available function to phorm reality and create whatever IT Programmers want to deliver …..

      And in Blighty, for true to life confirmation of crazy scripted soap behaviour/awry programming, one needs no further evidence to verify that, than to gaze in wonder and amazement at the contrived and self congratulatory spectacle of Prime Ministers Question Time in the Mad House of Westminster. And it is thought wise that they have access to the public purse, is the madness confirmed as being rife, and further afield in the field.

  16. Microphage

    Cyber-security and cyber-spooks

    How will letting the cyber-spooks bug my computer protect me from the cyber-crooks?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Naturally in response to this, I'd like to propose that we should listen to all the

    Apple afficionado, early adopter types, and put the whole of government IT into the Cloud, preferably Salesforce!

  18. Inachu
    IT Angle

    Those attacks

    When grannies and church members keep sending chainmail that is infected then watch old church lady get a heart attack when her front door is broken down and handcuffed and detained as a central hub because her eldest son bought her a brand new super powerful i7 PC which malware love to choose over older computers.

    yeah keep clicking on those fuzzy teddy bear and crying north pole seal email that are infected granny!

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