Moving away from more conventional forms of conflict, the Tory MP for Bournemouth East and Chair of the Defence Select Committee has warned the UK’s defences are currently inadequate to deal with a cyber strike. Speaking to Express.co.uk, he warned the reliance of technology has now left the door open for the UK to be exposed to a range of attacks from state and non-state actors. With nations now not needing vast armies, the MP also insisted attacks are not only “more penetrative” but also cheaper to carry out.
He added: “The whole cyber and space dimension is without rules.
“The world hasn’t caught up.
“We don’t how to deal with nations who have moved away from conventional attacks.
“They’re far more penetrative but simpler and more cost-effective forms of causing economic harm.
“A cyberattack or an attack in space it’s deniable and it’s cost-effective given the amount of destruction it causes.
“We’re ever more reliant on cyber and space technology which makes us prime targets for those whose wish us harm.
“I don’t think are defences are adequate.”
Mr Ellwood’s warning comes amid a series of allegations of cyberattacks and infiltration carried out by Russian and Chinese actors.
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He added: “We are concerned by the manner in which Russia tested one of its satellites by launching a projectile with the characteristics of a weapon.
“Actions of this kind threaten the peaceful use of space and risk causing debris that could pose a threat to satellites and the space systems on which the world depends.”
China too has not only been accused of launching misinformation claims on the pandemic but will also have Huawei removed from the UK’s 5G network over concerns of the security of its kit.
With US sanctions now forcing the company to source computer chips from elsewhere, GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre could not guarantee the equipment’s future reliability.
This added to the imposition of the security law in Hong Kong has led to UK-Sino relations reaching a crisis point.
Amid the escalation of global tensions not seen since the Cold War, Mr Ellwood concluded the West needs to unify against the threat of Beijing.
He said: “The West needs to work together to be stronger.
“China enjoys exploiting weakness and division.
“We need to be more unified.”