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GCHQ says cyber-spies 'over-achieved'
December 20, 2017
The UK has substantially increased its hacking capabilities in recent years, an official report says. This includes the ability to attack other country's communications, weapons systems and even infrastructure.
The details were revealed in the annual report of the Intelligence and Security Committee, which oversees the work of intelligence agencies.
It said GCHQ had “over-achieved”, creating double the number of new offensive cyber-capabilities expected.
The report said GCHQ’s allocation of effort to develop hacks had increased “very substantially” from 2014.
The programme of developing the capabilities is divided into three tranches and GCHQ said that it had just finished the first. “We… actually over-achieved and delivered [almost double the number of] capabilities [we were aiming for,” an official from the agency told the committee. The details of the successes are classified in the public version of the report.
Such capabilities could, in theory, be used to retaliate against others’ cyber-attacks. The report comes a day after the Foreign Office publicly blamed North Korea for the Wannacry attack, which hit the NHS in May 2017.