The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued an alert to critical national infrastructure (CNI) warning of a cyber threat from state aligned groups.
It said that some groups have stated an intent to launch “destructive and disruptive attacks” and that CNI organisations should take steps outlined in its heightened threat guidance to strengthen their defences.
The alert identifies a specific threat from groups sympathetic to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and says it can take the shape of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, website defacements and the spread of misinformation – along with efforts to inflict a more destructive impact.
It also says these groups are not motivated by financial gain or subject to control by the state so their actions can be less predictable and targeting broader than traditional cyber criminals.
NCSC has recommended that organisations implement its actions to take when the cyber threat is heightened, particularly following its advice on secure system administration.
Intent to cause damage
Dr Marsha Quallo-Wright, NCSC deputy director for CNI, said: “It has become clear that certain state aligned groups have the intent to cause damage to CNI organisations, and it is important that the sector is aware of this.
“In the wake of this emerging threat, our message to CNI sectors is to take sensible, proportionate steps now to protect themselves.
“The NCSC has produced advice for organisations on steps to take when the cyber threat is heightened, and I would strongly encourage all CNI organisations to follow this now.”