UK Boris Johnson: ‘No Evidence Russia trying to disrupt UK democracy’

“We have no evidence that the Russians are actually involved in trying to undermine our democratic processes at the moment.”

Foreign Minister Boris Johnson

NCSC Head Ciaran Martin

Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) — part of the GCHQ spying agency —  has written a Cyber-Security report urging the leaders of political parties to protect themselves against potential cyber attacks. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

The NCSC will organise a “technical seminar” on cyber-security for political parties. (The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure will provide advice on broader protective security issues.)

THE REPORT

The report — signed by NCSC head Ciaran Martin — does not confirm that the main cyber-security risk was Russia.

“You will be aware of the coverage of events in the United States, Germany and elsewhere reminding us of the potential for hostile action against the UK political system.”

“Attacks against our democratic processes go beyond (political parties) and can include attacks on parliament, constituency offices, think tanks and pressure groups and individuals’ email accounts.”

“Protecting the UK’s political system from hostile cyber-activity is one of our operational priorities, so we have signposted parties to existing guidance and will deliver tailored seminars on cyber-security measures.”

“The seminars will build on our existing advice and will provide an overview of threats, case studies on recent cyber-incidents, practical steps to reduce the risk and advice on incident management.”

RELATED POST: Former MI6 Chief: ‘ Electronic voting presents serious hacking risk.’

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Foreign Minister Boris Johnson

Asked about the report, Foreign Minister Boris Johnson ITV television’s “Peston on Sunday”:

“We have no evidence that the Russians are actually involved in trying to undermine our democratic processes at the moment.”

“But what we do have is plenty of evidence that the Russians are capable of doing that. And there is no doubt that they’ve been up to all sorts of dirty tricks.”

RELATED POST: European States concerned about the Kremlin’s “information war”.

GERMANY?

Most UK media still refer to the ‘well-known’ case of recent Russian cyber-espionage and political interference  in Germany.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency said in December that Russia was trying to influence federal elections with “increasingly aggressive cyber-espionage”. [GUARDIAN]

The head of German intelligence recently accused Russia of seeking to influence the results of this year’s federal elections through “aggressive cyber-espionage”. [Sunday Times]

Meanwhile Germany’s domestic intelligence chief warned in December of “increasingly aggressive cyber-espionage” by a hacking group believed to be controlled by the Russian state. [BBC]

Last month, German Intelligence Agencies have concluded a year-long investigation searching for clear evidence of Russia’s political interference in Germany. They found no conclusive evidence.

RELATED POST: German Intel Agencies first accuse Russia, then investigate and now report: ‘No evidence of Russian disinformation campaign’.

The security agencies were initially planning to — at least partially —  disclose their findings. Given the lack of evidence, the 50-page paper will however not be published. The Chancellor’s Office has requested the BND and the BfV to pursue the investigation.

RELATED POST: International Law and Cyber Warfare. From the Tallinn Manual to a Digital Geneva Convention?

INTERVIEW

REFERENCES

Boris Johnson: Russia has ability to disrupt UK politics with hacking — GUARDIAN

UK political parties warned of Russian hacking threat: report — REUTERS

GCHQ warns politicians about Russian hacking threat — BBC

GCHQ: Russian cyber‑threat to British elections — Sunday Times

Cyber attacks threatening national security double in past year, GCHQ reveals — Telegraph

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UK Boris Johnson: ‘No Evidence Russia trying to disrupt UK democracy’

This entry was posted in Cyber Warfare, Cyber-Security, Cybercrime, GCHQ, MI6, Russia, UK and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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