Cyber security conference warns GCHQ exacerbates ‘identity theft and fraud’

An Edinburgh cyber security conference has heard that British residents and businesses are being made ‘more vulnerable to identity theft and fraud’ as a result of the actions of government spy agency GCHQ.

The claim was heard at the Cyber Risk Symposium, hosted by Napier University and attended by the Scottish Government, business community and academia, focusing on a range of cyber threats and their potential impact.

Neil Anderson, security consultant at FarrPoint, made the claim whilst speaking at the Napier University hosted event. He said: “"Working with the NSA, agents at GCHQ have deliberately tried to weaken a number of critical online security measures – such as for online banking and shopping – to make code-cracking and snooping easier.

“The NSA interfered with the standards of these online encryption systems as they were being developed, whereas GCHQ has been instrumental in finding weaknesses and installing backdoors in protocols we rely on in our daily lives.

“It is a move which puts everyone in Scotland and the UK at greater risk, and more vulnerable to identity theft and fraud.”

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