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National Security

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures are in place to protect the supply of (a) water, (b) food and (c) communications from burn-out caused by an electromagnetic pulse attack. (289836)

[holding answer 12 October 2009]: The Government's Cyber Security Strategy of the United Kingdom, published alongside and reflected in the National Security Strategy update, considers a number of methods of cyber attack, including those that generate high levels of power that can damage or disrupt unprotected electronics. It also outlines the new governance structures and workstreams which will build on existing work to take forward the Government's plans for reducing the impact on and vulnerability of the UK's interests from cyber attacks.

The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) provides advice on electronic or cyber protective security measures to the businesses and organisations that comprise the UK's critical national infrastructure, including public utilities, companies and banks CPNI also runs a CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) service which responds to reported attacks on private sector networks. In addition, CESG, provides government departments with advice and guidance on how to protect against, detect and mitigate various types of cyber attack.

It would not be in the interests of national security to provide information about specific protective measures relating to electromagnetic pulse attack.