The United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence has admitted to bringing a knife to a gunfight—or at least, the MoD’s Major General Jonathan Shaw admitted that the government’s defense department is guilty of bringing "pen and paper" to an online war.
Speaking with The Guardian about a recent rash of anonymous attacks that have plagued the MoD, Shaw made clear that the organization's defense tactics were too archaic to handle the current online sophistication of today's hackers.
My generation… we are far too old for this; it is not what we have grown up with. Our natural recourse is to reach for a pen and paper. And although we can set up structures, we really need to be in listening mode for this one.
Details concerning the nature of these attacks is unclear, though Shaw did say that "The number of serious incidents is quite small." The hacker group responsible calls itself “The Unknowns" and has hacked systems belonging to the U.S. military, U.S. Air Force, and French Ministry of Defense, among others.
Shaw has spent the past year examining the MoD’s antiquated approach to cyber-security. He told The Guardian that the MoD has resolved to do a better job confronting the unconventional methods of today's hackers.
"It is quite right to say that pure defense, building firewalls, will not keep the enemy out," he said. They might be inside already… there is no such thing as total security."
''One needs to engage in internal defence and be quite aggressive about it. And if you are going to manoeuvre in cyberspace, that is something that obviously involves action across the spectrum.''
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