MoD Cyberattack: UK should develop capability to ‘launch retaliatory strike’

MoD Cyberattack: UK should develop capability to ‘launch retaliatory strike’

WATCH HERE: Grant Shapps issues statement following cyberattack

GB News
Keith Bays

By Keith Bays

Published: 08/05/2024

- 18:20

Updated: 08/05/2024

- 20:41

The MoD has not confirmed which country carried out the attack

A member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee Royston Smith has warned that the UK must ‘enhance its capability to defend itself’ after a suspected Chinese cyberattack on the Ministry of Defence.

The Conservative MP claimed that the UK needed to start “developing the capability” to launch “retaliatory cyberattacks” to prevent hostile actors from harming the UK.

He claims that the latest hack on the MoD bears all the hallmarks of a “significant and professional attack”.

Hackers obtained access to payroll information, including details such as names, bank details, and addresses of serving military personnel in the cyberattack on the MoD.

Grant Shapps

Grant Shapps issues statement following cyberattack

GB News

It is thought that over 2,000 individuals have been impacted by this data breach, including military veterans.

Whilst the MoD has not confirmed which country carried out the cyberattack, it has been reported that the Government suspects China to be behind the attack.

This comes only weeks after hackers closely aligned with China carried out an attack on the Electoral Commission, putting at risk data belonging to over 40 million registered voters in the UK.

Speaking to GB News, Smith said: “The UK suffers from thousands of cyberattacks every year some from non-state actors and some from state actors.

\u200b\u200bMoD headquarters

MoD headquarters


“Our intelligence services will have no doubt discovered where that (MoD) attack came from.”

MPs have expressed concern in the House of Commons about the latest cyberattack and warned that the Government must do more to deal with the growing threats from countries like China.

Former Conservative party leader, Sir Iain Duncan-Smith said: “Given that the FBI Director has said China has a cyber espionage capacity so vast it dwarfs everyone else and given that in 2023 the UK deputy Prime Minister said the UK Government was considering placing the People's Republic of China (PRC) into the Foreign Influence Registration Tier.

“Why on earth don't we take the decision to place this 'malign actor' (PRC) into that enhanced tier and deal with them accordingly.”

While former Army Captain and Conservative MP, Bob Seely said: “It is a little frustrating to be told that one’s bank details and national insurance number are winging their way to Beijing.”

Elsewhere, other MPs were aiming their criticism at the Foreign Office for their handling of the situation with, Conservative MP and former Armed Forces Minister Mark Francois saying: “This will be very worrying for service personnel and their families and for veterans, who will feel disrespected by the fact that the Government seem to have briefed that it was China overnight, and then not had the nerve to confirm that in the House today because someone rang up from the Foreign Office and said, don’t do that.

“When, oh when, will we start standing up to the Chinese in the way that they are clearly not frightened of doing to us.”

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