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Major Cyber-Crimes

Volume 631: debated on Monday 20 November 2017

UK law enforcement successfully identified suspects in nine out of 10 of the most serious cyber-crimes from October last year to March this year, and have arrested suspects in seven out of 10 of them. We are demonstrating that cyber-criminals will face the full force of the law—no matter how untouchable they think they are—and will be brought to justice.

Will my right hon. Friend give the House details about what advice is being given to individuals and businesses so that they can protect themselves online?

Following the national cyber-security strategy, the Government set up the National Cyber Security Centre, which issues a range of advice to businesses and individuals. To complement that, the National Cyber Security Centre also helps to support the national campaign, Cyber Aware, the Take Five campaign and Cyber Essentials.

In order to help victims of cyber-crime and bring perpetrators to justice, are we expected to be a member of Europol, post our European Union membership?

The right hon. Gentleman asks a valid question. Of course, our ambition is to continue in the same way, with access to and from member states. We have made a good offer, and we will see what the European Commission’s offer in response is.

Last week, the chief executive officer of the National Cyber Security Centre said that, in its first year of operation, the centre had responded to over 600 significant incidents. Some of those threats come from hostile states and from areas of the world that are ungoverned. What practical steps are the Government going to take to build the international coalition that will be required to deal with this issue?

The hon. Gentleman raises some really valid questions and points, which we have to build on. That is why, alongside the national cyber-security strategy, we have been working with the National Crime Agency and its international network—we have NCA officers all the way round the world. Embedded in that is the National Cyber Crime Unit. GCHQ, as an intelligence agency, works with many of the member states of the European Union and the “Five Eyes” to tackle this issue. We have seen a number of very successful operations, most recently in December, when, in an operation led by Europol, we took down the Avalanche cloud hosting service that was sending over 1 million fraudulent emails a week.