PHILIP HAMMOND: 'We will strike back' against foreign cyberattacks

Foreign secretary philip hammond WPA Pool/Getty ImagesBritish Chancellor Philip Hammond.

Chancellor Philip Hammond promised the UK will “strike back” against foreign cyber-attacks, as he announced new details about a £1.9 billion government investment in cybersecurity.

Speaking at the Microsoft Future Decoded conference in London on Tuesday, the government minister said that “trust in the internet and the infrastructure on which it relies is fundamental to our future.”

Hammond gave new details about the National Cyber Security Strategy, first announced in 2015 by George Osborne, the then-chancellor.

“A small number of hostile foreign actors” have developed “destructive” cyber-capabilities, Hammond said, that “threaten the security of the UK’s critical national infrastructure. If we do not have the ability to respond in cyber-space, he warned, “we would be left with the impossible choice of turning the other cheek … or resorting to a military response.”

Hammond’s remarks come after MI5 boss Andrew Parker told The Guardian in an interview that Russia is a growing threat to Britain’s security — in part because of its cybersecurity capabilities.

Russia has been accused by American intelligence officials of meddling in the US election — hacking Democratic Party members in an apparent attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the election.

This story is developing. Check back for updates…

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