It has emerged that the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has been targeted by a serious cybersecurity incident.
The details were released via a tender document published by a government source, seemingly by mistake. It came to light that cybersecurity firm BAE Systems Applied Intelligence was called on for “urgent support”.
It has been reported by the BBC that unidentified hackers managed to get inside the FCDO systems, but were later detected. A spokesperson for the FCDO told the BBC: “We do not comment on security but have systems in place to detect and defend against potential cyber incidents.”
It is not believed that any classified or highly sensitive material was breached. It is also not clear when the incident took place, but the contract, valued at £467,325, finished on 12 January of this year.
A number of foreign states have been accused of major espionage campaigns in the past, which most commonly includes Russia and China. Foreign ministries of a number of states are regularly targeted and often breached which is a huge cause for concern.
Foreign governments are regularly the target of cyber-espionage campaigns by other states seeking access to information about diplomacy and current events. In January 2022, it emerged that the Canadian Foreign Ministry had been targeted.