World News: From the NHS to the National Grid, seven times the UK has been hit by massive cyber attacks

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THE country could be on the brink of a digital conflict unlike any seen before, with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) warning Russia could look to cripple Britain’s infrastructure.

As the NCSC and FBI accuses the Kremlin of a long-running campaign of hacking vital British services, Sun Online looks at some of the worst attacks Britain has faced.

The UK and US have accused Russia of a long-running cyber campaign targeting key British services

Global router hack

In an unprecedented move, the NCSC and the FBI accused Russia of waging a long-term campaign attacking Britain’s critical national infrastructure this week.

In a joint report released this week, they claimed Moscow was using compromised hardware, including internet routers, to spy, steal intellectual property and lay the foundations for future attacks.

The main targets were said to be government and private sector firms as well as “critical infrastructure… that supports the health and safety of US and UK populations”.

NCSC chief Ciaran Martin also said Russian hackers had infiltrated the UK’s energy grid – though they have not been disrupted – and millions of other machines around the world.

The National Cyber Security Centre accused Russia of hacking internet routers to support spying efforts

NHS Wannacry ransomware attack

Almost a third of hospitals were crippled in Britain’s worst ever cyber attack in May, when employees logged on to find messages demanding ransoms of £233 in bitcoins to decrypt each computer.

The National Audit Office said nearly 20,000 ops and appointments were cancelled and five A&Es were shut down by the Wannacry malware which infected computers at 81 health trusts.

Security experts branded the NHS a “poorly defended target” and said crooks could target the system again if they did not upgrade its basic defences.

Minister of State for Security Ben Wallace said officials were “as sure as possible” that North Korea was behind the attack.

Hacks widely blamed on North Korea plunged the NHS into chaos

UK energy grid hacked

In November, NCSC chief Ciaran Martin confirmed Russia had hacked Britain’s energy grid in a plot to plunge the nation into darkness.

It is believed the Russian state-sponsored hackers intended to lie dormant inside the energy network having penetrated it and cause significant damage at a later date.

Speaking at The Times Tech Summit tomorrow, Mr Martin will said: “I can confirm that Russian interference… has included attacks on the UK media, telecommunication and energy sectors.”

The NCSC also revealed it had dealt with more than 600 cyber attacks since it was created in October 2016 – almost two a day.

Russia was, again, accused of hacking the UK national grid in November

Parliamentary emails compromised

Hackers made repeated attempts to guess the passwords of 9,000 Parliamentary email accounts, including those of cabinet ministers, in June.

As many as 30 accounts were thought to have been compromised in the attack which Whitehall blamed on Iran, the BBC reported at the time.

Officials branded it Iran’s first “significant digital attack on a British target” signalling the counry was becoming “more aggressive and capable as a cyber power”.

The attack was initially pinned on Russia following its alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Iran was blamed for hacking thousands of Parliamentary email accounts, including those of cabinet ministers

TalkTalk cyber attack

Around 156,000 TalkTalk customers were feared to have had their financial details stolen in October 2015.

Hackers accessed customers’ data including names, addresses, dates of birth and email addresses “with ease”, according to Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

They also got their hands on bank account details and sort codes of at least 15,000 customers, Teiss reported.

The telecoms firm was slapped with a £400,000 fine over the data breach for not doing enough to safeguard customer information.

Tesco bank account heist

Only last month, Tesco was forced to cancel, and automatically re-issue, thousands of credit cards after a suspected attack.

It followed a similarly embarrassing incident in November when hackers stole money from almost 20,000 bank accounts.

Online transactions had to be temporarily frozen while Tesco tried to contain the scam.

Customers had complained about money being withdrawn without permission, cards being blocked and long delays to get through to the bank on the phone.

Hackers stole money from as many as 20,000 Tesco bank accounts

FTSE businesses under attack

Though this isn’t an isolated attack. worrying research from 2017 put the true cost of hacking on UK businesses at £42billion, Teiss reported.

Oxford Economics and security firm CGI studied 315 breaches – focusing on 65 “severe” and “catastrophic” ones – to have taken place since 2013.

It found 1.8 per cent, on average, is wiped off share prices of listed companies following a cyber attack, resulting in a loss of tens of billion to investors.

Several big companies say they are targets of a global cyber attack

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