GCHQ plans ‘Great British Firewall’ to protect UK against hackers

gchqThe Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the UK’s secretive signals intelligence agency, is developing ‘automated defence’ tools – already dubbed the ‘Great British Firewall’ – to help combat a spike in cyberattacks over the past year. The scheme, which is still in the early planning stages, would see major UK service providers working alongside GCHQ in a voluntary capacity to help filter malicious website domains that could potentially be used by hackers or state-sponsored rivals to infect computer systems. The main base for the operation is likely to be the agency’s upcoming National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), set to launch later this year, which will bring together experts from MI5, Cert, local law enforcement and private industry to help fight the threat of hacking. “We know automated defences work on the internet,” Ciaran Martin, GCHQ’s director-general for cyber security, said during a conference in Washington DC on 13 September.