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UK Launches Dedicated Cyber Security Agency

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the bet-they-get-free-foil-hats dept.

Security 60

Jack Spine writes "The UK government is launching an office dedicated to cyber attack and defence. The Office of Cyber Security will focus on protecting Britain's IT infrastructure, and will be similar to the US Cyber Command model. While the Pentagon Cyber Command will be lead by the NSA, the UK Cyber Security Operations Centre, which will coordinate UK cyber efforts, will be based at GCHQ in Cheltenham."

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60 comments

First! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#28465933)

First!

Freshen Ya Drink, Govna? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#28465953)

Kiss my ass you British douchebags.

America is better than England, and we are better than you.

Re:Freshen Ya Drink, Govna? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#28466097)

Kiss my ass you British douchebags.

America is better than England, and we are better than you.

Is that an Obama quote?

Thought Police? (2)

xdor (1218206) | more than 3 years ago | (#28465985)

Will this department handle weeding out dissenters or is that a different section?

Re:Thought Police? (5, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466077)

When the Thought Police are knocking on your door, think "I'm not home".

Re:Thought Police? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#28466803)

Just look at all the bleedin aerials on that van! I wonder if they will sell me a fish license as well!

Re:Thought Police? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#28468023)

Was the man from the Ministry of Housinge?

Re:Thought Police? (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466617)

Given that it's run by GCHQ, that will probably be some other department. GCHQ is full of competent people and manages to be a lot more successfully apolitical than other parts of the security service. Probably because they already know all of the elected politicians' dirty secrets. These are the guys who invented RSA decades before it was first published, not the guys who leave briefcases full of classified documents on trains.

Re:Thought Police? (5, Interesting)

hughk (248126) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466863)

Funnily enough, I have met some people who worked for GCHQ. They are very competent, they do not talk directly about their work but sometimes you may end up a conversation where they may believe you are in a similar line of business and may drop the odd comment that makes you think they work in the 'doughnut'. It has a problem in that they are limited by UK civil servant salaries and that it is probably the most secretive of UK organisations in that it is heavily compartmentalised. The guys who invented public-key cryptography before Diffie-Hellman and RSA were limited by these walls and didn't realise that it could be commercially interesting.

Re:Thought Police? (0, Offtopic)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#28467875)

After 5 seconds in the 'microwave', the 'doughnut' is fresh and tasty. The cut-out is the nut-hole. The 'croissant' and the 'bagel' are not yet compromised. The 'hot-dog' is a little raw. Greetings from Czarist America

Re:Thought Police? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#28491751)

define: 'Doughnut' as the working part of the agency (as above). 'Microwave' as the administration. Name the French and Israeli services working areas as the 'croissant' and the 'bagel.' As for the 'hot-dog', that would be the U.S. "Marzipam to birthday-cake, over." The Spy with the Cold Nose.

Re:Thought Police? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28479189)

GCHQ's unique qualities are being more secretive and having single-minded employees more accepting that they're "only following orders" than the rest of the services. A specific competence is of little value without constant reflection on one's work, and one brilliant mathematical device discovered decades ago is no reflection of your organisation's current ability or utility. This service is mostly a sink for Oxbridge mathematicians and linguists who lack the balls for the City, imagination for a start-up or selflessness of academia, but who still want the gratifying sense of superiority and power which Oxbridge (well, Oxford certainly does) pounds into you.

To accuse part of the UK civil service of being "apolitical" is only to imply, with a nod of deference to Yes Minister, that it holds the reins and ignores its bosses: the politicians who should represent the people. If your politicians are corrupt, you don't improve things by reinforcing the problem of a civil service which answers to no-one.

So pretty much the same... (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466007)

GCHQ is basically the UK NSA. So it looks like the cousins plans are pretty much the same as ours.

Re:So pretty much the same... (3, Interesting)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466335)

There are 5 of these agencies, they all share information. Expect other countries to follow along with the same types of press release. In practical terms, these agencies are already viewed as the leading authorities on this topic anyway. They each have many hundreds of domestic customers, and their public websites are indicative of them providing information of this nature when requested. These particular press releases are likely naught more than political maneuvering anyway. Probably just to 'remind' a particular foreign government or two that they are on top of the game.

CSE (Canada)
DSD (Australia)
GCHQ (UK)
GCSB (New Zealand)
NSA (USA)

Re:So pretty much the same... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#28467167)

I agree, for example, the government has been running a training/certfication programme for penetration tests of classified networks for getting on for 10+ years...http://www.cesg.gov.uk/products_services/iacs/check/index.shtml. They shouldn't get complacent, but they generally run ahead of the curve.

The good guys using DDoS? (4, Insightful)

Fzz (153115) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466061)

From TFA:

The government will develop information systems to allow it to launch denial-of-service attacks and to spy on chosen targets, said the official. "We will have a whole range of offensive capabilities, including distributed denial-of-service," said the official. "DDoS is not a first response -- we definitely need graduated responses."

You might have thought it would be better to fund development of mechanisms to prevent or mitigate DDoS attacks, rather than rely on using them. The bad guys will always be able to command more bots than any legal response could.

Re:The good guys using DDoS? (2, Insightful)

janwedekind (778872) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466387)

You might have thought it would be better to fund development of mechanisms to prevent or mitigate DDoS attacks, rather than rely on using them. The bad guys will always be able to command more bots than any legal response could.

You also might have thought it would be better to prevent Microsoft Windows rather than using it. But I guess it's too late in both cases because the stuff is owned, licensed, and controlled by third parties.

Re:The good guys using DDoS? (1)

Dragoness Eclectic (244826) | more than 3 years ago | (#28467907)

*laughs*

That's like saying gangsters can command more guns than any legal response--in a war zone. Against the military.

This is government and national security that's being discussed, in a war situation. I don't think they actually care what the legal options for civilians vs. criminals are. Military law and treaties are what's relevant here.

Is there anything in the Geneva Convention or military law that stops the government from using every possible computer to take down an enemy attacker's infrastructure and attack capability? I don't think so.

We just do... (3, Insightful)

EddyPearson (901263) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466119)

...what the US tells us to, don't we?

*sigh*

Re:We just do... (4, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466171)

Tell me, is there anything in your life you DON'T blame the U.S. for?

Re:We just do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#28466331)

I find it very difficult to think of something that the US doesn't poke it head into. Of course, it comes with a share of blame/praise for any negative or positive outcomes.

Re:We just do... (1)

mtremsal (1554627) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466343)

Maybe it happened the other way round...

Kidding.

Re:We just do... (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466703)

Not sure why you're kidding. There's a lot of that kind of thing going on between the UK and US governments. Typically, someone on one side of the pond has a moderately good idea. Someone on the other side takes it to its logical conclusion. Someone back on the first side takes it a bit further. Then, they harmonise their efforts by taking it to ridiculous extremes.

It's fun to blame Americans for everything (and, let's face it, they are so easy to bait), but often we're as much to blame for their stupid behaviour as we are for theirs. Take the Iraq war fiasco, for example. The US and UK intelligence services met up, and admitted to each other that they didn't really have much evidence. Both sides went back and said to their superiors something along the lines of 'we don't have much evidence, but they've got this and we think they've got some more serious evidence that they don't want to share with us for national security reasons'. These then made it into reports to politicians. A few years later, they both realised that both sides were telling the truth (unheard of in intelligence circles) and they really didn't know anything.

Re:We just do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#28466465)

Exactly, the US made the UK into a police state.

No wait. That's retarded. Never mind.

Just like 24 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#28466129)

As in 24 teeth remaining.

Thankfully the UK,... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#28466153)

...sporting the absolutely worst, most under-developed IT infrastructure in the developed world, will have little to keep check on. Lucky bstrds and their "1mbps Top Tier High-Speed(tm)" ADSL network.

Re:Thankfully the UK,... (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466739)

Lucky bstrds and their "1mbps Top Tier High-Speed(tm)" ADSL network

My mother, living in the middle of nowhere in rural England gets 1Mb/s ADSL. Those of us nearer cities get a lot more. I'm on 10Mb/s (closer to 8.8 in practice), with my ISP offering speeds up to 50Mb/s. Most cities also have 24Mb/s ADSL2.

I think you are confusing network infrastructure with government projects. Typically, an IT project in the UK follows this process:

  1. Open for bids.
  2. Appoint EDS because they have the most experience in government IT contracts.
  3. EDS goes over budget.
  4. EDS fails to deliver anything.
  5. EDS adds another entry to the list of government projects they've completed for entry with the next bid.

Re:Thankfully the UK,... (1)

arethuza (737069) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466815)

I would have laughed at that if it wasn't so typical of large UK government projects.

Re:Thankfully the UK,... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#28471199)

Sometimes it's Crapita instead of EDS, but otherwise this is totally accurate.

The government really only have themselves to blame, their tendering process is so complex that only specialist fuckups like these two bother with it. Also, for some INCREDIBLY STUPID reason they announce the "preferred bidder" early on in the cycle. They can then sit back and start padding the hell out of their fictional budget estimates, safe in the knowledge that they'll get the project no matter how terrible they are.

Appropriate captcha. [slashdot.org]

Tony Blair: The Son of Satan +1, True (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#28466199)

It seems that before I launch into this letter, I should tell you that Tony Blair is the spawn of Satan. Although not without overlap and simplification, I plan to identify three primary positions on Blair's plaints. I acknowledge that I have not accounted for all possible viewpoints within the parameters of these three positions. Nevertheless, Blair presents one face to the public, a face that tells people what they want to hear. Then, in private, he devises new schemes to turn a deaf ear to need and suffering.

Blair says that the bogeyman is going to get us if we don't agree to his demands. That is the most despicable lie I have ever heard in my entire life. I would like nothing more than to view the realms of pessimism and insurrectionism not as two opposing poles but as two continua. Once we realize that, what do we do? The appropriate thing, in my judgment, is to attack Blair's malice and hypocrisy. I say that because he makes a lot of exaggerated claims. All of these claims need to be scrutinized as carefully as a letter of recommendation from a job applicant's mother. Consider, for example, Blair's claim that the average working-class person can't see through his chicanery. The fact of the matter is that I'm not a psychiatrist. Sometimes, though, I wish I were, so that I could better understand what makes people like him want to flout all of society's rules.

Even though Blair has aired his disapproval of being criticized, I still warrant that I have never been in favor of being gratuitously superstitious. I have also never been in favor of sticking my head in the sand or of refusing to reinforce what is best in people. All the deals he makes are strictly one-way. Blair gets all the rights, and the other party gets all the obligations. While there is inevitable overlap at the edges of political movements, now that I've been exposed to his editorials I must admit that I don't completely understand them. Perhaps I need to get out more. Or perhaps he claims to be supportive of my plan to ensure that we survive and emerge triumphant out of the coming chaos and destruction. Don't trust him, though; he's a wolf in sheep's clothing. Before you know it, he'll detach individuals from traditional sources of strength and identityâ"family, class, private associations. Not only that, but Blair uses big words like "parasympathomimetic" to make himself sound important. For that matter, benevolent Nature has equipped another puny creature, the skunk, with a means of making itself seem important, too. Although Blair's remonstrations may reek like a skunk, most people react to Blair's nutty asseverations as they would to having a pile of steaming pig manure dumped on their doorstep. Even when they can cope, they resent having to do so. Speaking of resentment, no one likes being attacked by violent libidinous-types. Even worse, Blair exploits our fear of those attacksâ"which he claims will evolve before the year is over into biological, chemical, or nuclear attacksâ"as a pretext to ensure that all of the news we receive is filtered through a narrow ideological prism. If you think that's scary, then you should remember that Blair's writings are designed to cater to the basest instincts of the most pertinacious goof-offs you'll ever see. And they're working; they're having the desired effect.

Blair's infernal attempt to construct a creative response to my previous letter was absolutely pitiful. Really, Blair, stringing together a bunch of solecistic insults and seemingly random babble is hardly effective. It simply proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is hardly surprising that he wants to declare that the majority of ultra-malign popinjays are heroes, if not saints. After all, this is the same intrusive wisenheimer whose unholy prattle informed us that society is screaming for his histrionics. He has been working under a veil of bureaucracy and secrecy to inflict untold misery, suffering, and distress. Even more remarkable, if he isn't hypocritical, I don't know who is. I stand by what I've written before, that Blair is more than merely randy. He's über-randy. In fact, Blair's so randy that he somehow manages to get away with spreading lies (what I call gloomy porn stars should be fÃted at wine-and-cheese fund-raisers), distortions (he was chosen by God as the trustee of His wishes and desires), and misplaced idealism ("metanarratives" are the root of tyranny, lawlessness, overpopulation, racial hatred, world hunger, disease, and rank stupidity). However, when I try to respond in kind, I get censored faster than you can say "anthropophysiography".

There's a little-known truth that isn't readily acknowledged by grotesque ochlocrats: I overheard one of Blair's brethren say, "Blair can declare martial law, suspend elections, and round up dissidents (i.e., anyone who does not buy his lie that women are crazed Pavlovian sex-dogs who will salivate at any object even remotely phallic in shape) and get away with it." This quotation demonstrates the power of language as it epitomizes the "us/them" dichotomy within hegemonic discourse. As for me, I prefer to use language to speak out against virulent, dysfunctional brigands. Given the range and unpredictability of human behavior, it is quite possible that he has remarked that human life is expendable. This is a comment that should chill the spine of anyone with moral convictions. To make sure you understand I'll spell it out for you. For starters, I like to face facts. I like to look reality right in the eye and not pretend it's something else. And the reality of our present situation is this: Blair has a talent for inventing fantasy worlds in which Man's eternal search for Truth is a challenge to be avoided at all costs. Then again, just because Blair is a prolific fantasist doesn't mean that he is the arbiter of all things.

Last I checked, this makes me fearful that I might someday find myself in the crosshairs of Blair's unimaginative doctrines. (To be honest, though, it wouldn't be the first time.) When I first heard about Blair's tirades, I dismissed them as merely self-aggrandizing. But when I later learned that he wants me to lose heart, I realized that even if one is opposed to sophomoric gangsterism (and I am), then surely, Blair keeps telling us that "the norm" shouldn't have to worry about how the exceptions feel. Are we also supposed to believe that he has answers to everything? I didn't think so. Take it from me: If we're to effectively carry out our responsibilities and make a future for ourselves, we will first have to solve the problems that are important to most people.

To put it another way, Blair's snow jobs are totally vile regardless of the way, shape, or form in which he presents them. If you find that fact distressing then you should help me rally good-hearted people to the side of our cause. Either that, or you can crawl into a corner and lament that you got yourself born in the wrong universe. Don't expect your sobbing to do much good, however, because Blair used to complain about being persecuted. Now he is our primary persecutor. This reversal of roles reminds me that I plan to say "no" to Blair's supercilious beliefs (as I would certainly not call them logically reasoned arguments). This is a choice I have made; your choice is up to you. But let me remind you that if Blair believes that we can stop militarism merely by permitting government officials entrée into private homes to search for shiftless thugs, then it's obvious why he thinks that there should be publicly financed centers of poststructuralism.

Blair frequently avers his support of democracy and his love of freedom. But one need only look at what Blair is doingâ"as opposed to what he is sayingâ"to understand his true aims. There will be public outrage if he tries to blitz media outlets with faxes and newsletters that highlight the good points of his simple-minded stratagems and I'm not making that up! It's not easy for me to say this, but he contributes nothing to society. There, I said it. Now I can continue with my previous point, which is that we've all heard Blair yammer and whine about how he's being scapegoated again, the poor dear.

In order to expose some of Blair's stingy deeds we must make technical preparations for the achievement of freedom and human independence. And that's just the first step. Remember, Blair wants to be the one who determines what information we have access to. Yet he is also a big proponent of a particularly self-serving form of vigilantism. Do you see something wrong with that picture? What I see is that if Blair wants to complain, he should have an argument. He shouldn't just throw out the word "microclimatological", for example, and expect us to be scared.

Blair has hatched all sorts of vainglorious plans. Remember his attempt to make my worst nightmares come true? No? That's because Blair's so good at concealing his cold-blooded activities. While he and other crapulous survivalists sometimes differ on the details and scale of their upcoming campaigns of terror they never fail to agree on the basic principle and substance. Hence, it is imperative that you understand that I am reminded of the quote, "Much of our nation's history stands as shameful testament to the danger inherent in allowing him to palm off our present situation as the compelling ground for worldwide unilateralism." This comment is not as offensive as it seems because the worst classes of bloodthirsty savages there are are born, not made. That dictum is as unimpeachable as the "poeta nascitur, non fit" that it echoes and as irreproachable as the brocard that I respect the English language and believe in the use of words as a means of communication. Maladroit beggars like Blair, however, consider spoken communication as merely a set of noises uttered to excite emotions in stinking cutthroats in order to convince them to inflict more death and destruction than Genghis Khan's hordes. Anyway, I hope I've made my point, which is that the lockstep ideological conformity of Tony Blair's bedfellows and their mindless parroting of Blair's flighty cliches about Trotskyism have reached a level of absurdity hardly matched by any historical example that comes to mind.

Re:Tony Blair: The Son of Satan +1, True (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#28466269)

tl;dr

Re:Tony Blair: The Son of Satan +1, True (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466801)

You do know Tony Blair isn't even in office anymore it is Gordon Brown.

Naughty boys (3, Interesting)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466399)

Lord West [bbc.co.uk] :

"You need youngsters who are deep into this stuff... If they have been slightly naughty boys, very often they really enjoy stopping other naughty boys," he said.

Re:Naughty boys (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466819)

"You need youngsters who are deep into this stuff... If they have been slightly naughty boys, very often they really enjoy stopping other naughty boys," he said.

I'd rather stop the government getting ever-more control over and intrusion into my life.

Re:Naughty boys (1)

hughk (248126) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466887)

The problem is that it is very difficult for anyone whio has been a naughty boy to work for such an agency.

Re:Naughty boys (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#28467105)

The problem is that it is very difficult for anyone whio has been a naughty boy to work for such an agency.

Sometimes you feel like making your own pizza. Other times, you just feel like making a phone call. I'm told Anonymous delivers.

Re:Naughty boys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#28467987)

Yup, they probably don't want just script kiddies.
I'd Guess they'd want someone with a degree from the right university or have connections.
Getting a job right now sux, even worse if you have a criminal record.

Re:Naughty boys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#28468745)

A/C for obvious reasons.

True story:

I interviewed with the DoD--twice, and was turned down both times. I thought most of the interview and checks went great except for one jackass in the middle. Fortunately, being the gov't--you can file a PA request (the idiots gave me the SSNs of my friends the PI interviewed as part of it--it just goes to show the government can't get anything right). Nearly a year later I got a 100 page envelope with all types of irrelevant things--psych profiles, interview notes, parts of the polygraph analysis... All the names of the people that interviewed me were redacted, and that was about it other than some weird registration numbers.

Also--they had indexed my application by my selective service registration #. If anyone working there reads this--can you please tell me how you index applicants without a Y chromosome?

According to the paperwork, I was "recommended denial" (turned down?) primarily because:
    1) I had pirated software
    2) My introduction to the 'hacker' community began when I was ~14. I should have waited until I was college and learned from the professors.

For the record--I complained to the interviewer that my "professors" in the DoD program were incompetent (Fyodor: People with PhD's taught dozens of undergrads nmap was a rootkit until I lost my temper and corrected them). Evidently getting a competent education is not as important as being officially indoctrinated.

Nevermind difficult for anyone being "a little naughty" to get in--it's freaking impossible for someone with any real experience to get in.

Breaking News! (1, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466571)

The Daily Telegraph and Guido Fawkes report their websites have suddenly gone down.

Google also appears to be unable to retrieve searches for "MP's Expenses", "Iraq War Public Enquiry", "Is John Bercow the modern Incitatus?", "UK CCTV", "Metropolitan Police brutality", or "MOD data left on hard disc on train", amongst many other things...

Logo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#28466667)

But will they have as good a logo as the Office of Government Commerce?

Talk about internal rivalry! (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466697)

They're going to have to work hard to keep up with the brave efforts of the rest of the government to completely undermine whatever data security actually exists. Leaving unencrypted information on a train? What can man do against such reckless incompetence?

A good way to sink more money ! (1)

gygy (1182865) | more than 3 years ago | (#28466879)

A good way to sink more money ! Has anyone see a cyberterrorist ?

Cyber security takes down websites (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 3 years ago | (#28469941)

The UK has the BEST cyber security known, in the weekend when people MOST have time to do any work to fill in or request this that or other form on a UK government website, they find the website is taken down "for maintenence", every weekend, week in week out. So much for a 24/7 365 information economy the government keep on BS'ing about.

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