N.Korea Will Target UK Financial Services

Robert Hannigan, who ran the UK’s signals intelligence agency for three years, revealed that Pyongyang is “after our money”.

He also claimed that the reclusive regime is attempting to improve its hacking abilities by collaborating with Iran and criminal networks operating from southeast Asia and China.

In his first newspaper interview since leaving his role, Mr Hannigan said: “Their missiles are not going to reach the UK but their cyber-attacks did reach the NHS and other parts of Europe.

“As sanctions bite further and North Korea becomes more desperate for foreign currency, they will get more aggressive and continue to come after the finance sector. They are after our money.”

The former GCHQ chief has also warned that the West’s ability to effectively deal with cyber-aggression from North Korea would be “limited” because the hermit kingdom is not “networked” and so is not majorly vulnerable to western cyber-attacks.

Referring to North Korea, he said: “Their threshold for risk is sky-high and they don’t really care about collateral damage. They are not in the premier league yet, not in the top five nations, but they are getting there.”

The former spymaster has also warned of “disinformation campaigns” organised by the Russian government in an attempt to “undermine democracy”.

Speaking of Russian propaganda, Mr Hannigan said: “There is a trend of disinformation and political manipulation, which happened long before cyberspace was going on, right through the Cold War.
“Cyber is just a new and very productive way of doing it. It’s bound to grow, they have found new tools of doing it through social media, through the tech companies.
“We are going to see more of the same and more sophisticated attacks. More of the disinformation, more stealing of money, more disruption of systems.”

Meanwhile, British Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon this weekend said the UK was conducting a series of military drills alongside the US as tensions continue to rise with dictator Kim Jong-un’s regime. As fears gather that the hermit kingdom’s missile launches could trigger World War 3, Sir Michael said Britain’s decision-making would be “rapid”.

He also revealed nuclear submarine crews at the Clyde naval base in Scotland are “ready” for war, should it breakout.
US warships have also been practicing shooting down missiles in drills off Scotland’s west coast, he said.


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