The National Cyber Security Centre, a cybersecurity guidance and support agency of the UK government, also known as NCSC, has reportedly stated that Britain had to address a record 777 incidents of cyberattacks over the course of the past year, with COVID-19 vaccine research being the prime target for these attacks.
According to reports, the NCSC, which is a part of the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), stated that several of the supposed attacks were traced back to hostile states, including China and Russia.
The incidents also included a vast global hacking campaign, which has been blamed on the foreign intelligence service of Russia, which had made the most significant impact on the US government with its cyberattacks.
As per a NCSC annual review, the commonly referred-to ‘SolarWinds’ break-in has been regarded as ‘one of the recent time’s most serious cyber intrusion.
Meanwhile, another major incident, which was traced back to a state-backed actor from China, involved a cyberattack on tech giant, Microsoft.
GCHQ director, Sir Jeremy Fleming, described both attacks in the said review as the ‘two most serious international cybercrime incidents witnessed in recent years.
As per the NCSC, China is a ‘highly sophisticated’ player in cybercrime space, with a growing ambition to cast its influence beyond its own borders, as well as a proven interest in the commercial secrets of the UK.
The 88-page annual review says that how the nation of China evolves within the next ten years would probably be the biggest determinant behind the future of UK's cyber security.
The overall number of cybersecurity incidents the NCSC needed to respond to through the course of the last 12 months has gone up from approximately 723 the year prior.
Additionally, with the more than 777 cyberattacks the NCSC had to address this year, it stated that approximately 20% of the organizations the agency needed to guide, and support were connected to the nation’s health sector as well as vaccines, including research centers and hospitals.
Under efforts to consolidate protection, the NCSC stated that it has extended support to enhance digital security for an extra 3 million employees in the sector, ranging from vaccine researchers to frontline healthcare staff.