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Russia has launched attacks on UK media, telecoms and energy sectors, cyber chief reveals

Russian hackers have launched attacks on the UK media, telecommunications and energy sectors over the last year, the UK’s cyber security chief has warned.

Ciaran Martin, head of the National Cyber Security Centre, told The Times Tech Summit yesterday that Russia is seeking to “undermine the international system”.

“I can confirm that Russian interference, seen by the National Cyber Security Centre, has included attacks on the UK media, telecommunications and energy sectors,” he said.

Martin’s remarks came just days after the prime minister, Theresa May, launched a spirited attack on Russia for attempting to sow discord by “weaponising information”.

On Monday night, May said Russia’s propaganda campaign threatened “the international order on which we all depend”.

“I have a very simple message for Russia. We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed. Because you underestimate the resilience of our democracies, the enduring attraction of free and open societies, and the commitment of western nations to the alliances that bind us,” she said.

NCSC revealed in October that it had witnessed more than 590 significant cyber attacks over the course of the previous 12 months.