Terrorists Could Soon Shut Down Major Cities With A Button

Terrorists Could Soon Shut Down Major Cities With A Button

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Terrorists could soon bring a major city to a standstill with a click of a button, warns Robert Hannigan, director of the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British equivalent of the NSA.

Hannigan said that terrorists and rogue states are gaining the technical ability to exploit flaws western reliance on technology, and that that risk to cities like London would increase with wider adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), as more and more physical objects become connected to the internet.

Hannigan, who rarely appears in public, made the caution during the Cheltenham Science Festival, The Telegraph reports. He asserted that rogue states are tirelessly working on developing advanced cyber-programmes that could attack the United Kingdom specifically, and, by extension, the rest of the world, and that terrorists are constantly seeking to exploit western technology.

“At some stage they will get the capability,” Hannigan said. “There are certainly states and groups with the intent to do it, terrorist groups, for example, who have no threshold when it comes to the loss of life. We’re not quite there yet, but as the world becomes ever more connected that will become a greater risk.”

Hannigan defended the surveillance powers given to the GCHQ and other agencies over the internet by the controversial Investigatory Powers Bill. The bill, which has received the moniker Snoopers Charter, has recently passed its third reading the House of Commons. Hannigan said that thank to bulk data analysis seven attacks against the United Kingdom were foiled in the last eighteen months.