Britain’s cybersecurity agency has dealt with more than 60 cyberattacks of “national significance” in the past year, an official report shows.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is part of GCHQ, did not directly say what the attack was, but did talk about a ransomware attack on the NHS 111 hotline service and water company South Staffordshire Water, which sparked a national response.
“The threat of ransomware has always been present – and remains a significant challenge to UK businesses and public services,” the NCSC said in its annual review released on Tuesday.
It said that over the past year, there has been a growing focus on supporting Ukraine’s cyber defenders against widespread and aggressive cyberattacks following the incursion by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The NCSC said the war had “raised the UK’s focus on cybersecurity threats”.
Earlier on Tuesday, the UK government disclosed for the first time a Previous secret efforts to help Ukraine protect itself from cyberattacks Under a scheme worth more than £6 million.
“Ukrainian authorities – with the assistance of the NCSC – built strong cyber defenses that limited the impact of Russia’s actions,” the annual report said.
“Ukraine’s successful defense operation is a model for global cyber defenders.”
The hub also involves China. It said Beijing’s evolving technological capabilities could be the biggest factor affecting UK cybersecurity in the future.
Despite the risks posed by foreign countries in cyberspace, the biggest online threat to UK civilians and small businesses comes from cybercriminals, the report said.
This includes phishing attacks and hacking of social media accounts. For example, in the 12 months to March 2022, there were 2.7 million cyber-related frauds.
Summing up its work over the past 12 months, the NCSC said its officers managed the response to hundreds of cyber incidents. This includes 63 events it describes as “nationally significant”.