The UK government has warned it is “extremely dangerous” to the security of its citizens, as cyber criminals continue to target law enforcement agencies.
The warning comes as the country is forced to prepare for the next stage of the cyber-attack, which is expected to occur between now and November.
A new report released by the Home Office and the Office for National Statistics said it would not be “impossible” that a large-scale cyber attack would be launched against law enforcement, including the police, within two weeks of the next phase of the attack.
The government has previously stated it would take “at least two to three years” for any cyber attack to be successful.
However, according to the Home Affairs Select Committee, this is not necessarily the case, because of how much time it takes for the cyber threat to develop.
“A large scale cyber attack is likely to be a very long time in the future,” the report said.
“It would take at least two or three years for any large scale attack to develop and be successful.”
In particular, the report noted that it was very difficult to “understand” how the attackers would attack the UK, given the country’s “limited” intelligence capabilities and the way it has “disregarded” the internet and other forms of communication.
The report concluded that the government’s response was “poor”, with the “defence was unable to prevent a cyber attack”.
“Cyber attacks are highly sophisticated and can be highly successful.
This is why the government should take a careful look at how the UK is protecting itself against them,” the committee’s chair, Sir Robert Owen, said.
Sir Robert also highlighted that cyber attacks are often used by criminal groups to commit crimes.
“Cybersquatting is often used to make it harder for police and security agencies to stop and disrupt criminal activities.
The attacks can also be used to justify the criminal behaviour of the perpetrators,” he said.
UK police have been criticised for their response to the latest attacks, which include targeting government websites, and also for failing to stop attacks against law officers, which led to several police officers being arrested.
The Home Office has also warned that cyber criminals have a “great desire to target UK law enforcement”.
Earlier this month, the government warned of the dangers of cyber criminals targeting the UK’s security, stating that cyber threats can be “highly destructive” and that “cybercriminals are highly capable of inflicting damage on a significant scale”.