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Editor May 11, 2022
Updated 2022/05/11 at 7:16 AM

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Russia poses ‘significant threat’ to UK as 53 people fall victim to ransomware attacks

A “whole society” approach to cyber security is needed to protect the UK amid Russia’s war in Ukraine, a government minister will warn.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay is expected to tell the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) CyberUK conference in Newport, Wales, today that Russia still poses a significant threat to the UK.

He will warn one major Russian-based organised crime cyber group has been behind failed ransomware attempts in the UK to steal personal data in order to exchange it for a ransom payment, with 53 victim reports in the past year.

Mr Barclay, the minister responsible for cyber security, is due to say: “It is vital that we adopt a ‘whole of society’ approach to cyber security.

“It’s a job for us all. Preserving our core values of democracy and free speech while keeping people safe online – as we are doing through our Online Safety Bill – depends on the UK having robust cyber defences.

“We will achieve these by harnessing our collective strengths and acting as one. It is for this reason that our National Cyber Strategy treats the cyber domain no longer as a niche concern simply for the IT team – but as a wide-ranging grand initiative.

“Responsible, durable, effective cyber power cannot be achieved by government alone; we want to see industry, universities, schools, and individual citizens getting involved.”

The “greatest cybercrime threat to the UK” comes from ransomware attacks – a form of malware that encrypts a victim’s files and requires them to pay a ransom to get them back – he will say.

It comes after Sir Jeremy Fleming said the current “serious global economic situation” means “the need to make the UK the safest place to live and do business online is ever more relevant”.

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