Threats

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Threats to national security

The main national security threats are terrorism and espionage (including cyber attack).

In recent years international terrorism has been the prevailing threat. But our programme of work takes into account other national security threats such as espionage and the threat of foreign state sponsored attacks on infrastructure.

Cyber and other threats

The UK is facing an ongoing, persistent threat of cyber attack from other states, terrorists and criminals operating in cyberspace.

Cyber and other threats

Espionage

The threat from espionage (spying) did not end with the collapse of Soviet communism in the early 1990s. The UK has been and remains a high-priority target for a number of countries looking to obtain information and technologies to help advance their own military, technological, political and economic interests.

Espionage

Terrorism

The threat from terrorism to the UK remains real and serious. An attack could take place at any time and any organisation could be directly or indirectly affected. Acts of terrorism vary in scale and purpose. Some aim merely to inflict superficial damage or cause public distress to draw attention to a particular cause. But others can be more violent and indiscriminate with far-reaching consequences.

The current threat level from international terrorism for the UK is assessed as SEVERE.

Information on threat levels can be found on the Security Service (MI5) website.

Terrorism

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