Majority of British polled support pre-emptive cyber attacks

The Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) in Cheltenham

From Tom Whitehead, Telegraph:  The majority of the public believe pre-emptive strikes are justified if enemy states or hi-tech criminals pose a threat to national security.

Earlier this year, a committee of MPs and peers said Britain should declare cyber war on those who target the country through aggressive retaliatory strikes to destroy their operations.

The intelligence and security committee said it was not enough to just defend against cyber attacks and that the military and spy agencies needed to exploit cyber warfare for their own ends.

The Daily Telegraph disclosed in October that Britain is being targeted by up to 1,000 cyber attacks every hour in a relentless campaign to steal secrets or disable systems. . . .

A survey for cyber security company LogRhythm found 65 per cent of the public backed pre-emptive strikes on enemy states that pose a credible threat to national security.

Some 45 per cent said the government needs to step up its protection of national assets and information against cyber threats while a similar proportion said the threat needed to be taken very seriously now.

Only 18 per cent considered pre-emptive attacks on enemy states to be unjustified, according to the poll. . . .

In June, Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, said there was an "astonishing" level of cyber attacks from enemy states and criminals, which were threatening government secrets and businesses.

He revealed that one attack cost a London business £800 million. (photo: PA)

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