British infrastructure is targeted by hostile states but officials refused to say what had been hit, The Guardian reports. Within range are companies providing â€œessential services upon which daily life dependsâ€ such as electricity, gas and water.
A senior government official admitted the British critical infrastructure had been mapped, and the owners of national infrastructure are still being supported by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure both for physical, and cyber, security.
“We understand that there is a threat from hostile foreign states and others to attack it,â€ the UK official said, as quoted by The Guardian. â€œIt would be absolutely in keeping with that â€“ we have seen attempts by hostile foreign states through cyberspace as well. Of course there are attacks against critical national infrastructure and I am not going to say whether they were or weren’t successful. Clearly, we spend an awful lot of our time helping and advising members to protect the network.”
The British Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude also argued the UK needs to become more cyber-savvy. “IT has become endemic to how we live and yet today most of us still do not understand what is behind the screen,” Maude said at a press conference.
Government officials also talked about â€œbillions of poundsâ€ of intellectual property being stolen from British companies in the last year, but without giving any examples.
The statements came today, when the government announced new measures to protect Britons and companies from scams, hackings and attempts to steal trade secrets. This was the first time the UK admits key service providers have been hacked from abroad.