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Cyber warfare already here, UK spy agency chief says

(Reuters) - Countries are already using cyber warfare techniques to attack each other and need to be vigilant round the clock to protect computer systems, the head of Britain's communications spy agency says.

Iain Lobban, the director of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), said British government systems are targeted 1,000 times each month.

"Cyberspace is contested every day, every hour, every minute, every second," he said late Tuesday in a rare speech. His remarks, to a London audience, were published Wednesday.

The internet lowered "the bar for entry to the espionage game," he said. Its expansion increased the risk of disruption to infrastructure such as power stations and financial services.

"The threat is a real and credible one," said Lobban, whose GCHQ agency, a big eavesdropping operation similar to the National Security Agency in the United States, handles operations such as intelligence-gathering and code-busting.

Politicians and spy chiefs in Britain and around the world have increasingly been warning about the growing cyber threat. More...

10-13-2010 18:06