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Cabinet Office written question – answered on 18th March 2005.

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Photo of Mr Richard Allan Mr Richard Allan Shadow Spokesperson for the Cabinet Office, Cabinet Office, Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Spokesperson (Trade and Industry)

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what action he is taking to prevent UK Government websites from being compromised by (a) denial of service and (b) phishing.

Photo of David Miliband David Miliband Minister of State, Cabinet Office

The UK Government have a continuous programme of work that identifies vulnerabilities and prevents damage to the critical national infrastructure, public sector networks and other interdependent information systems.

Government policy advises all departments on the appropriate measures required to prevent UK Government websites from being compromised.

Phishing is a form of social engineering that has become very common over the past 18 months. Criminals use this technique to deceive people into disclosing their credit card numbers, bank account details or other valuable information.

At present, we have not seen large-scale phishing attacks against UK Government websites. However, we continue to be concerned about these criminal activities, and are therefore working to raise public awareness of the threat. Government have recently launched the IT safe website ( aimed at providing plain English advice and warnings to the general public.

The UK Government are also working with law enforcement and industry on Project Endurance to increase awareness and promote information and advice to online users to give them the confidence to use the internet safely and securely.

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