Former MI5 Chief Wants Retaliatory Attacks On Russia

One of Britain's most senior former security officials has urged the government to meet Russian "aggression with aggression", by launching retaliatory cyber-attacks against Moscow. Dame Stella Rimington (pictured), who was Director General of MI5 from 1992 to 1996, said that the UK must respond to the growing threat of cyber warfare by meeting “aggression with a certain degree of aggression”.

The former head of the UK’s domestic security service warned a cybersecurity conference in London on Thursday 20th September that “the technology which the Russian intelligence services deploy is just as good as ours.”

Dame Stella said that the UK should carry out so-called offensive cyber-attacks against Russia, rather than defending itself and not retaliating. “Part of our defence is aggression”, she said.

In April, the National Cyber Security Centre warned in a joint statement with the FBI and the Department for Homeland Security in the US that Russia has been probing the UK’s critical infrastructure in order to carry out reconnaissance ahead of a possible cyber-attack.

The organisations warned that Russian hackers had been probing for weaknesses in government and corporate computer systems in order to “lay a foundation for future offensive operations". The UK’s security services are reported to have considered the use of offensive cyber-attacks against Russia if the country were to take similar action against the UK.

Dame Stella, MI5’s first female chief, also warned that Russia has become “very adept” at using the Internet for disruption of other countries.

However, she also cautioned that there was evidence of “some dysfunction” within Russia’s security services following the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury by agents of its GRU security service.

“Why had it not occurred to these people that we have technology in this country and if they come wandering around here, we're going to know”, Dame Stella said. “We're going to see them on our cameras, which are everywhere.”

Telegraph

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