GCHQ to share cyber-attack data with British firms
GCHQ has announced it will share online security intelligence with private companies in order to help them combat cybercrime and digital espionage.
Speaking at a the IA14 cybersecurity conference in London, the spy agency’s director, Iain Lobban, told delegates “GCHQ will commit to sharing its classified cyber threat information at scale and pace to help communications service providers protect their customers”.
The plan will be carried out as a pilot initially, with the agency sharing information only with approved government suppliers.
If it’s successful, it will be extended to other private firms whose business “forms part of the UK’s vital infrastructure” – once they’ve gotten past a security review, the Financial Times reports.
GCHQ is also considering the possibility of declassifying limited amounts of its own intellectual property, generated through its security work to “support the development of new business ventures”, according to Engineering and Technology Magazine.
Lobban revealed the government’s own network was recently compromised by what he claimed was a state-sponsored group.
“[The group] gained access to a system administrator account on the government secure intranet,” he said, although he added the threat had been “discovered early and dealt with to mitigate any damage”.
At another event recently held in London, security professionals, including representatives from Europol and NATO, welcomed the fact that anti-cybercrime initiatives were increasingly moving towards a “tripartite partnership” comprised of law enforcement, academia and private industry working together.