MI5 calls in KPMG to warn of espionage

MI5 calls in KPMG to warn of espionage
MI5 calls in KPMG to warn of espionage 

By Russell Hotten

The security service MI5 has asked consultants KPMG to lead a group to 
monitor cases of industrial espionage and co-ordinate information 
between Britain's leading companies.

MI5 is increasingly concerned at attempts by foreign governments to hack 
into the computer systems of major firms, and last week accused China of 
trying to steal corporate secrets.

KPMG, which works closely with the GCHQ listening station, is creating a 
"risk management information exchange", with a team of security and IT 
experts to assess "threat levels" and warn of imminent dangers.

If a company discovers attempts to breach computer security through, 
say, viruses, the information can be passed to MI5 and other companies 
using the KPMG group.

Last week, the director-general of MI5, Jonathan Evans, sent 
confidential letters to 300 chief executives and security heads at major 
companies warning about "electronic espionage" from "Chinese state 

It was later reported that Rolls-Royce and Royal Dutch Shell had faced 
attempts to breach their computer security systems. The US and France 
have accused China of industrial espionage - which Beijing strongly 
denied. China has yet to respond to the MI5 claims.

Martin Jordan, principal adviser to KPMG on IT security, and head of the 
new group, said: "The intention is to give an early warning when threats 
appear. The information will be disseminated through a small group of 
people, but it will hopefully give MI5 a bigger overview of what is 
going on."

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