Security News

GCHQ boss warns China can rewrite 'the global operating system' in its own authoritarian image
2021-04-26 06:58

GCHQ director Jeremy Fleming on Friday delivered the 2021 Vincent Briscoe Lecture for the Institute for Security, Science and Technology, and opened with an observation that humans love to connect to each other, that digital connectivity continues to become more pervasive and important, and that Britain is "a big animal in the digital world." China's size and technological weight means that it has the potential to control the global operating system.

Spy agency GCHQ told me Gmail's more secure than Microsoft 365, insists British MP as facepalming security bods tell him to zip it
2021-04-14 09:16

Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat has publicly claimed GCHQ sources told him Gmail was more secure than Parliament's own Microsoft Office 365 deployment - but both Parliament and a GCHQ offshoot have told him to stop being silly. "I was told by friends at GCHQ that I was better off sticking to Gmail rather than using the parliamentary system because it was more secure," Tugendhat told the BBC's Today Programme.

How do we stamp out the ransomware business model? Ban insurance payouts for one, says ex-GCHQ director
2021-04-09 10:02

Increasing numbers of senior ex-GCHQ people have called for laws preventing businesses using cyber insurance to buy off ransomware attackers - with the money merely perpetuating the criminals' business model. Marcus Willett, a senior cyber adviser with the International Institute for Strategic Studies and former GCHQ director of cyber, wrote at the end of March that the world needs "New laws establishing disincentives to pay ransoms to cyber criminals."

NCSC's London HQ was chosen because GCHQ spies panicked at the prospect of grubby Shoreditch offices
2020-11-20 11:29

The National Cyber Security Centre picked its London HQ building not because it was the best or most cost-efficient location - but because the agency "Prioritised image over cost", a Parliamentary committee has said. NCSC's HQ in the English capital's Nova South development, a glitzy commercial building near Westminster, was procured in breach of GCHQ's own rules on leasing commercial buildings.

Somebody's Russian to meddle with UK coronavirus vaccine efforts, but GCHQ won't take it lying down
2020-11-09 15:52

British eavesdropping agency GCHQ is actively hacking Russian attempts to undermine coronavirus vaccine efforts, according to The Times. Some weeks ago a Russian misinformation campaign was brought to light, again by The Times, aiming to sow distrust of the safety and efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by drug company AstraZeneca and Oxford University in the UK. The campaign reportedly claimed that because AZD1222 uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector, it could "Turn people into monkeys".

GCHQ agency 'strongly urges' Brit universities, colleges to protect themselves after spike in ransomware infections
2020-09-17 14:27

GCHQ offshoot the National Cyber Security Centre has warned Further and Higher Education institutions in the UK to be on their guard against ransomware attacks as the new academic year gets under way. NCSC sent advice to places of learning "Containing a number of steps they can take to keep cyber criminals out of their networks, following a recent spike in ransomware attacks," it said in an advisory note published this morning.

Campaign groups warn GCHQ can re-identify UK's phones from COVID-19 contact-tracing app data
2020-05-21 15:15

Campaign groups have written to the UK Prime Minister warning GCHQ and its digital arm, the National Cyber Security Centre, will have the capacity to re-identify the phones of people who have installed the nation's coronavirus contact-tracing app. "The centralised recording of data could facilitate mission creep; there is no guarantee that the Government will not add additional tracking features or later use the data for purposes other than COVID-19 tracking. Of particular concern is the fact that the National Cyber Security Centre and GCHQ will have the capacity toidentify the phones of people who have installed the app. Based on the UK Government's track record on surveillance, we consider these risks to be real," the letter said.

Campaign groups warn GCHQ can re-identify UK's phones from COVID-19 contact-tracing app data
2020-05-21 15:15

Campaign groups have written to the UK Prime Minister warning GCHQ and its digital arm, the National Cyber Security Centre, will have the capacity to re-identify the phones of people who have installed the nation's coronavirus contact-tracing app. "The centralised recording of data could facilitate mission creep; there is no guarantee that the Government will not add additional tracking features or later use the data for purposes other than COVID-19 tracking. Of particular concern is the fact that the National Cyber Security Centre and GCHQ will have the capacity toidentify the phones of people who have installed the app. Based on the UK Government's track record on surveillance, we consider these risks to be real," the letter said.

Campaign groups warn GCHQ can re-identify UK's phones from COVID-19 contract-tracing app data
2020-05-21 15:15

Campaign groups have written to the UK Prime Minister warning GCHQ and its digital arm, the National Cyber Security Centre, will have the capacity to re-identify the phones of people who have installed the nation's coronavirus contact-tracing app. "The centralised recording of data could facilitate mission creep; there is no guarantee that the Government will not add additional tracking features or later use the data for purposes other than COVID-19 tracking. Of particular concern is the fact that the National Cyber Security Centre and GCHQ will have the capacity toidentify the phones of people who have installed the app. Based on the UK Government's track record on surveillance, we consider these risks to be real," the letter said.

Dutch spies helped Britain's GCHQ break Argentine crypto during Falklands War
2020-05-18 06:05

Dutch spies operating as a part of a European equivalent of the Five Eyes espionage alliance helped GCHQ break Argentinian codes during the Falklands War, it has been revealed. Flowing from revelations made in German-language news reports earlier this year that Swiss cipher machine company Crypto AG was owned by the CIA and German counterpart the BND during most of the Cold War, an academic paper has described the Maximator alliance which grew from the Crypto AG compromise.