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“the threat of espionage did not end with the collapse of Soviet communism in the early 1990s. Espionage against UK interests continues from many quarters”. It estimates that at least 20 foreign intelligence services are operating against the country, with Russia and China of most concern.
Fast evolving technology is affecting both spying and terrorist activity. The UK Intelligence and Security Committee, in its 2009/2010 annual report, cited evidence it had received from the Chief of MI6. He said that
“the whole question of cyber security is shooting up everybody’s agendas and it is a major new challenge to the intelligence community”.
The fear is that modern nations, such as the UK, are so dependent on technology that widespread interference with systems could wreak havoc. There are already believed to have been state-sponsored cyber attacks. In 2007, during a diplomatic row between Estonia and Russia, Estonia found many of its government, banking and media web sites disrupted. Russia denied any involvement although Estonia insisted that it could trace some of the million or more computers it estimated were used in the attack of addresses in Russia.
Security experts are clear that potential aggressors are now amassing detailed information with which they could launch a cyber-terrorist attack. Are we ready?
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