Blow to Brexit deal: Truss warned hackers now know ‘everything’ about UK trade talks | Science | News


The attack on the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has been described as a “serious security incident”. A public tender document published by e-Government revealed that it was seeking a cybersecurity firm for “urgent support” and “remediation and investigation support”. Dan O’Dowd, cybersecurity expert and CEO of Green Hills Software, told Express.co.uk it was “definitely possible” it was a Russian attack, and warned that hackers would have could “take it all”.

When asked what the pirates could have learned from the attack, Mr O’Dowd replied: “Everything. “The NSA can do it, the Russians can do it, the Chinese can do it, probably the Iranians and maybe even North Korea too.

“They all do, they all listen to everything.”

Mr O’Dowd said it could jeopardize sensitive trade negotiations, such as the post-Brexit deal the UK has been working on since leaving the EU.

He told Express.co.uk: “You have business negotiations. There’s a guy in the room listening with someone saying “well, should we give them this concession or concession”. They know exactly what your position is.

“They know your weaknesses, they know everything. They listen to everything you do.

“It’s like you might as well broadcast everything you do on the internet, except the only people who know about it are the ones you don’t want to know about. That’s who it’s okay with.

Responding to Mr O’Dowd’s query, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office spokesperson said: “We do not comment on security, but have systems in place to detect and defend against potential cyber incidents.”

In 2017, the NHS was hacked in an attack that led to the cancellation of 19,000 appointments and operations that cost £92million.

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“They know your weaknesses, they know everything. They listen to everything you do.

In July 2021, the government confirmed that Chinese state-backed actors gained access to computer networks through Microsoft Exchange servers during a cyberattack.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The cyberattack on Microsoft Exchange Server by Chinese state-backed groups was reckless but familiar behavior.

“The Chinese government must end this systematic cyber sabotage and can expect to be held accountable if it does not.”

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