UK intelligence services are stepping up against Chinese cyberspies

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The UK government is setting up a new agency whose goal will be to fight against “Chinese cyber-spies and other threats”, the media are reporting.

As per a new report in The Register, the agency is called National Protective Security Agency (NPSA) and will answer directly to MI5. The news was broken by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who explained that the NPSA is part of the Government’s effort to refresh its security strategy, known as the “Integrated Review”.

As part of the refresh, the country’s Conflict, Stability, and Security Fund is being replaced with an Integrated Security Fund, which will have a budget of $1.22 billion. 

Training and educating

The funding will be spent to "deliver on the core objectives of the Integrated Review at home and around the world, including in economic and cyber security, counter terrorism and human rights."

NPSA’s work will include training businesses, schools, and non-profits on the importance of cybersecurity, and advising them on how to tighten up on their cybersecurity posture. At the same time, NPSA will work with local law enforcement agencies to “protect against terrorist attacks,” it said.

Furthermore, the NPSA is expected to work closely with other government bodies such as the NCSC (National Cyber Security Center) and the NCTSO (National Counter Terrorism Security Office), providing “holistic protective security advice.”

"Science, technology, and academia are as much on the front lines of national security as the UK's critical national infrastructure," the Register cited Minister of State for Security Tom Tugendhat.

"We know that hostile actors are trying to steal intellectual property from UK institutions in order to harm our country," Tugendhat added. "The National Protective Security Authority will play a crucial role in helping businesses and universities better protect themselves and maintain their competitive advantage."

The Chinese cyber-spies and "other threats" that the MI5 are interested in are unknown, although it’s safe to assume it includes APT41, APT31, and other groups with close ties to the Chinese government. 

Via: The Register

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.