Intelligence experts warn UK airports and nuclear power stations to increase security measures due terrorist cyber threat
Intelligence experts have warned Britain’s airports and nuclear power stations to increase their defence measures. This is due to a warning that terrorists may have developed ways to plant explosives in laptops and mobile devices, which bypass airport security screening methods.
Intelligence agencies fear that that Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and potentially other terrorist groups have developed these new methods.
There are also concerns that computer hackers were attempting to bypass nuclear power station security measures and are looking for exploit “vulnerabilities” in the nuclear industry’s internet defences.
Jesse Norman, the energy minister, told The Telegraph that nuclear plants must make sure that they “remain resilient to evolving cyber threats”.
Mr Norman said: “The Government is fully committed to defending the UK against cyber threats, with a £1.9 billion investment designed to transform this country’s cyber security.”
Last month both the UK and the US banned carrying laptops and large electronic devices on board from a number of countries.
Prof Malcolm Chalmers, deputy director-general of the Royal United Services Institute, an independent think tank for defence and security, said: “It is important for the Government to respond rapidly to evolving cyber security threats. “The potential threats are wide-ranging and are coming from government and non-government sources. “Crucially there has to be clear co-operation with the private sector to tackle this, especially as airports are usually in private hands.”
There are fears that terrorists have made the breakthrough after obtaining airport screening equipment to allow them to experiment.
Government officials said that cyber attacks are on the rise and added: These attacks could disrupt supply, damage facilities, delay hazard and risk reduction, and risk adverse impacts to workers, the public or the environment.”