British Military Hit by Six Million Cyber Attacks in 2022

The British military was hit by more than six million cyber attacks last year amid the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe and escalating tensions in Asia.

The information was revealed by UK strategic command head General Jim Hockenhull during the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2023 conference in London.

According to him, the country’s intelligence and security services detected cyber assaults by hostile states and allied criminal gangs “on a daily basis.”

Some of these “secret operations” are reportedly linked to Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea.

“The new domains of space and cyber are areas of particular challenge, whether it is to ramp up information operations in an attempt to destabilize our societies, or to directly attack our core capabilities,” Hockenhull said in his speech.

He further revealed that the British military’s cyber warriors are the most engaged with adversaries carrying out a so-called “shadow war.”

Potential Factors

Hockenhull claimed that the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine is one major factor in the massive increase of cyberattacks against the UK military.

In April last year, the UK defense ministry said it was investigating a hacking incident by Moscow targeting more than 100 British Army recruits.

A group of Russian hackers known as LockBit was also accused of accessing gigabytes of sensitive data related to British military and intelligence sites.

“The scale of complexity and challenge goes beyond anything I have seen in the last 40 years. We have a war in Europe, with Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and we have witnessed nuclear rhetoric reminiscent of earlier times,” the general stated.

Other factors include Iran acting as a destabilizing force across the Middle East and North Korea continuing its “threatening behavior.”

Struggling Cyber Force

The UK’s Defence and Security Accelerator recently launched a program aimed at reducing cyber risks across defense and enhancing the country’s digital resilience.

More than 880,000 pounds ($1.1 million) has been allocated to support the initiative as part of Britain’s Cyber Resilience Strategy for Defence.

However, despite recent investments in cybersecurity, the British Army is still struggling to recruit cyber experts due to increasing competition in the business sector.

Army recruitment chief Richard Holroyd has predicted that only 80 percent of recruitment targets will be met this year.

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