Air traffic control seen as terrorist cyber attack target

Terrorists could target air traffic control as part of plans to launch deadly cyber attacks on the UK.

Funding to fight cybercrime is set to double to £1.9 billion a year by 2020 amid the fears.

Confirmation is expected today from chancellor George Osborne who warned that lives could be lost if hackers gained control of the nation’s electricity supply, air traffic control systems or hospitals.

Osborne’s speech comes after Islamic State (IS) said it was behind Friday’s attacks in which 129 people were killed in bars, restaurants, a concert hall and outside a stadium in Paris.

The chancellor will warn that IS is also seeking to hack key UK infrastructure in a bid to kill people.

“From our banks to our cars, our military to our schools, whatever is online is also a target,” Osborne will say. “The stakes could hardly be higher.

“If our electricity supply, or our air traffic control, or our hospitals were successfully attacked online, the impact could be measured not just in terms of economic damage but of lives lost.”

He will add: “They do not yet have that capability. But we know they want it, and are doing their best to build it.”

Osborne will announce the creation of a new National Cyber Centre to bring together the country’s leading experts, the BBC reported.

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.