UK Government hit by Trojan

Foreign Secretary William Hague admits to the attack which took place in December.


The UK Government has become the latest in line to suffer from a Zeus cyber-attack, Foreign Secretary William Hague has admitted.

The attack happened in late December, according to Hague, who made his comments at the 47th Munich Security Conference. It was contained in a series of emails that allegedly came from the White House with a link that downloaded a variant of Zeus, Hague said.

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"The UK Government was targeted in this attack and a large number of emails bypassed some of our filters," Hague said. "Our experts were able to clear up the infection, but more sophisticated attacks such as these are becoming more common."

Hague offered to host a cyber security conference in the summer to "explore mechanisms for giving cyber standards real political and diplomatic weight."

Although Hague praised the internet as having incredible economic potential, he also warned there was a darker side to cyber space that arose from our dependence on it.

"We believe that the time has come to seek international agreement about norms in cyberspace," Hague said.

"We believe there is a need for a more comprehensive, structured dialogue to begin to build consensus among like-minded countries and to lay the basis for agreement on a set of standards on how countries should act in cyber space."

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The Foreign Secretary also detailed two other attacks the UK Government had suffered lately. One of those was an attempt to steal information concerning the UK's nuclear Trident programme, whilst the other came from a nonexistent Foreign Office employee who was really a hostile state intelligence agency.

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The message, Hague said, "contained computer code embedded in the attached document that would have attacked their machine."

"Luckily, our systems identified it and stopped it from ever reaching my staff."

However, Hague couldn't say the same about the Zeus Trojan.

No further official comments have been made following Hague's words last week.

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