CYBER ATTACK: Cyber HQ to play role in hack response

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Experts at Britain’s new dedicated cyber security headquarters will play a central role in responding to and investigating the NHS computer attack.

The National Cyber Security Centre began operating in October last year before being officially opened by the Queen in London in February.

Underpinned by a £1.9 billion government cash injection, the facility is part of intelligence agency GCHQ.

It was established to spearhead the UK’s work to counter the mounting threat against the country’s infrastructure and economy from cyber criminals and hostile states.

In the three months after the centre was launched, there were 188 “high-level” attacks, as well as countless lower-level incidents.

Chancellor Philip Hammond disclosed earlier this year that the NCSC had blocked 34,550 potential attacks targeting UK Government departments and members of the public in six months.

The NCSC’s website says it was set up to help protect critical services from cyber attacks, manage major incidents and improve the underlying security of the UK internet through technological improvement and advice to citizens and organisations.

Senior figures have stressed that attacks are inevitable.

Speaking at its official opening, the NCSC’s chief executive Ciaran Martin said: “We’re a prosperous, digitally advanced, important country so people are going to attack us.

“That’s a fact of modern life. But when someone attacks the UK, I want them to think of us as the hardest of targets. We’re good at cyber security in the UK. But we need to get even better.”