By Kim Sengupta
20 December 20
A former chief of the SAS has been appointed to head the military's
cyber-warfare operations amid rising concern about the risk of attacks
on official websites endangering Britain's defences.
Major General Jonathan Shaw will lead a unit combating internet assaults
on vital strategic installations, including nuclear facilities and
communications networks, The Independent has learnt.
The Strategic Defence and Security Review identified cyber-warfare as
"tier one" in a league table of threats facing the UK. Last week Sir
Peter Ricketts, the National Security Advisor, asked government
departments to take precautions over hackers promising revenge attacks
over the WikiLeaks affair. The director of GCHQ, Iain Lobban, has stated
that cyber warfare, some orchestrated by foreign governments, is one of
the biggest challenges faced by the intelligence services.
But it is the WikiLeaks threats which have become the most pressing in
the field, according to Whitehall sources. "Hacktivist" supporters of
the website have hit companies that withdrew services from WikiLeaks
such as Visa, Mastercard and PayPal. Some supporters of WikiLeaks blame
the UK for what they see as complicity in a campaign against its
founder, Julian Assange.
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