Senior general to take charge of cyber-warfare defences
Monday 20 December 2010
One of the country's most dintinguished senior officers 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.
Leaked US diplomatic cables show worries over an aggressive internet warfare programme from China. A State Department circular claimed Beijing may use private companies with proficient hackers. Other cables referred to Iranian Islamist groups seeking technology to attack Western targets.
Maj-Gen Shaw, currently the Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (International Security and Policy), will keep his current position, along with additional cyber warfare responsibilities. His unit will work alongside a Cabinet Office body, headed by a senior civil servant, Neil Thompson, which has been looking at measures which can be taken against electronic espionage.
Maj-Gen Shaw commanded British troops in Basra, playing a key role in arranging a truce with Shia militia factions which temporarily eased the rising violence. He has since been among the senior commanders to have questioned British policies in Iraq.
X Factor judge will appear in court later this month
The Google future, including microphones in every ceiling and data sent directly to your brain
Guide dog mauled while helping owner deliver Christmas cards
Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
The poorest pay the price for austerity: Workers face biggest fall in living standards since Victorian era
N Korea confirms removal of Kim Jong-un’s 'depraved' uncle Jang Song Thaek
10 stone five-year-old taken into care
- 1 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 2 Council bans use of word ‘Commie’ – but ‘fascist’ and ‘Nazi’ are fine
- 3 The man who made Femen: New film outs Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the protest group and its breast-baring stunts
- 4 The poorest pay the price for austerity: Workers face biggest fall in living standards since Victorian era
- 5 'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent
- < Previous
- Next >
Initially paid internship designed to lead to full-time job: Inspiring Interns...
£27000 - £31000 per annum + Benefits: Flight Centre Limited: Global travel com...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: "Exciting Audit S...
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: As part of an ongoing effort to support local...