MI5 sees 'astonishing' level of cyber-attacks on businesses

26th Jun 2012 | 09:00

MI5 sees 'astonishing' level of cyber-attacks on businesses

Businesses intellectual property is under threat from cyber-attacks

UK businesses are coming under 'astonishing' levels of cyber-attacks revealed the head of MI5 in a speech last night.

Jonathan Evans the head of MI5 described how the organisation was making efforts to tackle "industrial-scale processes involving many thousands of people lying behind both state sponsored cyber espionage and organised cyber-crime".

"Vulnerabilities in the internet are being exploited aggressively not just by criminals but also by states," he said.

"The extent of what is going on is astonishing."

Evans also warned that the cyber-attack threats were not aimed at crashing systems but instead were aimed at stealing secrets. "What is at stake is not just our government secrets but also the safety and security of our infrastructure, the intellectual property that underpins our future prosperity and... commercially sensitive information."

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Olympic crimes

Additionally he warned businesses to be on the alert during the Olympics.

He told the audience at London's Mansion House the Games would present an attractive target since London would be the centre of worldwide attention but said MI5 was "far from complacent".

Leave has been restricted at Thames House - MI5 headquarters - and a clock in the entrance foyer is counting down to the time until the Olympics opening ceremony.

In the spirit of the BBC's Nick Ross on Watchdog who always ends with a cheery "Don't have nightmares, do sleep well", Evans ended his speech by acknowledging that some concerns were just "dogs that don't bark" but he added: "The dog you haven't seen may turn out to be the one that bites you."

Security cyber-attacks Jonathan Evans TRBC
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