Feeds

Foreign cyber spies target British defence official

Spear phishing foiled

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Foreign spies targeted a senior British defence official in a sophisticated spear phishing operation that aimed to steal military secrets.

The plan was foiled last year when the official became suspicious of an email she received from a contact she had met at a conference.

The official showed the highly personalised message to Ministry of Defence IT experts, who then found the attachment contained malware designed to leak classified material to a foreign intelligence agency.

The MoD declined to comment on the incident, which was briefly discussed at a recent conference by Simon Kershaw, its head of defence security and assurance.

The Register, however, has established that the foreign spies' target was Joanna Hole, who until her retirement in March was the MoD's head of safety and sustainable development. She had responsibility for business continuity and regularly briefed ministers and forces chiefs.

In a previous role, according to her LinkedIn profile, Hole represented the MoD at the highly sensitive COBRA emergency committee.

Kershaw did not name the foreign power behind the operation, but China is the most likely culprit. Its huge online espionage effort was a major motivator of the recent government decision to spend £650m in improved cyber security over four years.

The MoD is to create its Defence Cyber Operations Group as part of the investment. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.