Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (Picture: PA).
Cyber

Russia Targeting Governments With 'Global Campaign' Of Cyber Warfare, Foreign Secretary Says

Jeremy Hunt says Britain has helped 16 NATO countries counter malicious "Russian cyber activities" in the past year and a half.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (Picture: PA).

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (Picture: PA).

Britain has helped 16 NATO countries counter malicious "Russian cyber activities" in the past year and a half, the Foreign Secretary will announce.

Jeremy Hunt is expected to challenge members of the international alliance to clamp down on Russia's "global campaign" to influence elections and target infrastructure.

Countries outside of NATO have also been informed about Russian cyber threats by the National Cyber Security Centre, which was set up in October 2016, he will say.

Cyber
Countries outside of NATO have also been informed about Russian cyber threats by the National Cyber Security Centre, he will say.

In a speech on Thursday to NATO ambassadors and the Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, Mr Hunt will add:

"We judge that Russia's intelligence services are targeting the critical national infrastructure of many countries in order to look for vulnerabilities.

"This global campaign also seeks to compromise central government networks.

"I can disclose that in the last 18 months, the National Cyber Security Centre has shared information and assessments with 16 NATO allies - and even more nations outside the Alliance - of Russian cyber activity in their countries."

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (Picture: PA).

Mr Stoltenberg will also use a speech to the conference to warn how cyber attacks could "damage our economies, undermine our democracies and have a crippling impact on military capabilities".

Mr Hunt is expected to outline how Britain has given technical support to help countries counter the Russia threat, during his speech to the NATO Cyber Defence Pledge Conference in London.

"Recent events demonstrate that our adversaries regard democratic elections as a key vulnerability of an open society," he will add.

Mr Stoltenberg is expected to tell the conference NATO is strengthening its resources to tackle cyber threats, adding:

"Allies are ready to use cyber capabilities to fight, but potential attackers must know that we are not limited to a cyber response against attacks."

Article V states an attack against one member of NATO is considered an attack against all members.

A meeting of national security advisers from all 29 member states is scheduled at the NATO headquarters in Brussels next week.