Major cyberattack could hit the UK soon, warns NCSC

The head of the government's top cybersecurity body has warned that a major attack on the UK could be just around the corner.

Ciaran Martin, CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) warned that there was "little doubt" that a significant "Category One" attack could occur soon, with life-threatening consequences.

"I remain in little doubt we will be tested to the full, as a centre, and as a nation, by a major incident at some point in the years ahead," Martin wrote in the NCSC's second annual review.

NCSC attack warning

The warning comes as the NCSC revealed just how many threats it blocks from the UK. The organisation's annual review, also released today, said that it is currently combatting around 10 attacks a week - equivalent to nearly 1,200 attacks over the last two years.

The NCSC says the majority of the attacks were state-sponsored attacks carried out by individual hackers, and called out what it said was, "unacceptable behaviour by hostile states".

Overall, the NCSC has tackled 1,167 cyber incidents, including 557 over the last 12 months, since it launched in 2016.

The organisation's Active Cyber Defence service, launched in 2017, also removed 138,398 phishing sites hosted in the UK, as well as a further 14,116 worldwide that were spoofing the UK government.

This all contributed to helping the UK's share of global phishing attacks falling from 5.3 percent to 2.9 percent.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.