The UK’s parliament intelligence watchdog has disclosed that the country has managed to develop a full spectrum of cyber weapons to take on any hostile country. The watchdog said that the country had the power to counter any threats from states such as Russia, China or North Korea.
In the annual report released by the intelligence and security committee, the cyber defence plans and tactics were said to be ahead of schedule. The ISC is responsible for all the country’s spy agencies. The intelligence body is based in Cheltenham together with the GCHQ. It said that the National Offensive Cyber Programme was developing high-end deterrent which would be able to work right to the last high-end counter state offensive capabilities which would probably be never used.
The body did not disclose the weapons used but it is believed some of them include being able to make another country’s warplanes, ships, missiles and other equipment malfunction. The ISC also oversees the work of the GCHQ, MI5, MI6. The body disclosed that there were fears that the British water supply, electrical grid and telecommunications system could be at risk from Isis attacks. They also reiterated that the recent Islamist attacks on the US, were in fact made by Russia. The communist country just wanted to flex their muscles towards the Western countries.
MI6 presented information to the ISC which included details about how Russia conducted and information warfare campaign. Part of the campaign included propaganda effort to vindicate Russia from the shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.
The report comes at a time when the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May is traveling to Poland to discuss collective efforts to help and counter the Russian propaganda machine.
The director general at MI5, Andrew Parker also told the ISC that even though there were complicated relations because of Brexit, they were working together with most EU countries. He said that half of Europe was afraid of terrorism and the other half afraid of Russia, and the UK has a big step to play in the security of the continent as a whole.
The chairman for ISC, Dominic Grieve MP, said in the past Russian, Chinese and Iranian activities could easily be dealt with. However, the recent cyber warfare and propaganda by Russia had changed the landscape. Speaking to the parliament, he said that this in turn placed an importance in putting security emphasis on systems in the UK. The Government must prioritize the detection and countering of high-end cyber activity, he noted.