Could Russia and West be heading for cyber-war?

Russian hacker Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption US and UK intelligence agencies claim state-sponsored Russian hackers are trying to hijack internet hardware

The latest warning of Russian intrusions is another sign that cyber-space is becoming one of the focal points for growing tension between Russia and the West.

But so far, much of the talk about cyber-war remains hypothetical rather than real.

It is true that Britain's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is on high alert for the possibility of some kind of Russian activity. More people and resources have been devoted to monitoring and investigation.

There has also been outreach to companies to warn them on what to look out for and what to do.

"Russia is our most capable hostile adversary in cyber-space, so dealing with their attacks is a major priority for the National Cyber Security Centre and our US allies," NCSC chief Ciaran Martin said in a statement.

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What does the expulsion mean for Russia’s spies?

  • 26 March 2018
  • From the section Europe
A night-time picture of the Kremlin complex and the Bolshoy Kamenny bridge in Moscow. Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption It's not the first time the UK has sent officials back to Moscow en masse

On 24 September, 1971 there was a party in the headquarters of MI5. The safe that was used to stash bottles of drink was opened up and a bottle or two pulled out for a toast. The reason was "Operation Foot" - the expulsion from the UK of 105 Soviet officials linked to espionage.

Moscow's spies had been running riot in Britain through much of the 1960s. There were so many that MI5 was struggling to keep tabs on their movements. That expulsion was a blow that the KGB, the Soviet Union's intelligence service, never quite recovered from.

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Can mapping conflict data explain, predict and prevent violence?

  • 16 February 2018
  • From the section World
Dr Weisi Guo Image copyright Warwick University

It was December 2015, and Dr Weisi Guo was having dinner and listening to the grim news about the conflict in Syria.

Over the previous decade, Dr Guo had grown increasingly troubled by the amount of violence towards civilians. He had worked in UNHCR refugee camps in Algeria and seen the human cost at first hand.

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Russia 'will target US mid-term elections' says CIA chief

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Media captionPompeo on Russia, North Korea and Trump

The director of the CIA expects that Russia will target the US mid-term elections later this year.

Mike Pompeo told the BBC there had been no significant diminishing of Russian attempts at subversion in Europe and the US.

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Swedish security chief warning on fake news

  • 4 January 2018
  • From the section Europe
Flowers are pictured on April 8, 2017 at the site where a stolen truck was driven through a crowd and crashed into the Ahlens department store in central Stockholm the day before. The attack on Friday killed four people and injured 15, nine of them seriously Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Stockholm, April 2017: Five people were killed in a terror attack

The head of Sweden's security service has told the BBC the agency is not just dealing with an increased threat of terrorism but also the impact of disinformation and fake news. Anders Thornberg, the director of the service (known as Sapo), says this year could be even busier than 2017 as the country prepares for an election in September.

Terrorism remains high on the agenda after Stockholm was hit by a vehicle attack in April, which killed five people.

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If 2017 could be described as 'cyber-geddon', what will 2018 bring?

Cyber attack graphic Image copyright Getty Images

Scenarios once the province of thriller writers are now anything but fiction in the world of cyber-security. That is the lesson of the past year.

It's a process one British official describes as "Hollywoodisation". And if 2017 was notable for the escalation and the proliferation of cyber-attacks, it's left everyone asking what will happen in 2018?

Read full article If 2017 could be described as 'cyber-geddon', what will 2018 bring?

MI5 warnings on Brexit, terror and Russia

  • 21 December 2017
  • From the section UK
A memorial on the first anniversary of the terror attack on a Christmas market in Berlin Image copyright EPA
Image caption Berlin has been remembering those hurt and killed in a terror attack on a Christmas market this time last year

MI5 has had to reassure its European partners about co-operation since the Brexit referendum, the head of the security service says, but the twin fears of terrorism and Russia has meant that European countries still want the UK's help.

With a marked increase in the number of attacks in Europe, the committee said the government should be more forthcoming on any potential risks associated with Britain leaving the EU.

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How Britain pioneered cable-cutting in World War One

  • 15 December 2017
  • From the section Europe
Groups of men on the deck of a ship which laying telegraph cable at sea, with the image showing men looking over the side of the ship at a smaller vessel carrying the cable, circa 1900 Image copyright Getty Images

The UK's most senior military officer has warned of a new threat posed by Russia to communications and internet cables that run under the sea.

But the reality is that an understanding of this threat is anything but new. And it is the UK which first pioneered the technique of cable-cutting just over a century ago.

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MI6's secret 'multi-million pound' Cold War slush fund

Detail of the MI6 'unofficial reserve' Image copyright National Archives

In the late 1940s, a man in late middle age - military bearing, neat moustache, hair balding under his bowler hat - would walk down Whitehall in London to number 22.

Back then it was a bank: a discreet, exclusive establishment for members of the military. The bank's name, Holt's, is still carved in stone above the door, although the building now houses part of the Cabinet Office. The man would give his name as Captain Theo Spencer and withdraw money from one of his accounts.

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UK embassy in Yemen to close amid global terror alerts

  • 3 August 2013
  • From the section UK

The closure of a swathe of US embassies and consulates across North Africa and the Middle East is an unusual step.

The intelligence on which it is based - which is not being publicly disclosed but is reported to be intercepted communications - is thought to be credible but not specific about possible targets, leading to the very broad alert.

Read full article UK embassy in Yemen to close amid global terror alerts