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 British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)

Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is an intelligence and security organisation. A Civil Service Department, we report to the Foreign Secretary and work closely with the UK's other intelligence agencies (commonly known as MI5 and MI6). Our primary customers are the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and law enforcement authorities, but we also serve a wide range of other Government Departments.


GCHQ has two missions: signals intelligence (Sigint) and Information Assurance.


Our Sigint work protects the vital interests of the nation: we provide information to support Government decision making in the fields of national security, military operations and law enforcement. The intelligence we provide is at the heart of the struggle against terrorism and also contributes to the prevention of serious crime.


Information Assurance helps keep Government communication and information systems safe from hackers and other threats. We also help those responsible for the UK's critical national infrastructure (power, water, communications etc.) keep their networks safe from interference and disruption.

Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is an intelligence and security organisation. A Civil Service Department, we report to the Foreign Secretary and work closely with the UK's other intelligence agencies (commonly known as MI5 and MI6). Our primary customers are the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and law enforcement authorities, but we also serve a wide range of other Government Departments. GCHQ has two missions: signals intelligence (Sigint) and Information Assurance. Our Sigint work protects the vital interests of the nation: we provide information to support Government decision making in the fields of national security, military operations and law enforcement. The intelligence we provide is at the heart of the struggle against terrorism and also contributes to the prevention of serious crime. Information Assurance helps keep Government communication and information systems safe from hackers and other threats. We also help those responsible for the UK's critical national infrastructure (power, water, communications etc.) keep their networks safe from interference and disruption.
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updated Fri. May 3, 2024

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The tech-savvy pupils are only 13, but it's hoped the event will inspire the next generation of cyber security experts. Chris Enshor is from the National Cyber Security Centre, he says the girls competing are "the future defenders of the UK" and that many of them will likely work for GCHQ as adults.
The security services are trying to recruit teenage computer hackers who have fallen foul of the law to defend the country against cyberattacks. A series of boot camps has been organised by Cyber Security Challenge UK and the police with support from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is ...

Michael Burton, president of the Investigative Powers Tribunal, told the court that the Intelligence Services Commissioner, Mark Waller, who provided independent oversight over the intelligence agency had been aware of GCHQ's use of contractors, but appeared not to have been told that GCHQ was ...
Russian cyber attackers are targeting Britain thousands of times each and everyday, the former head of GCHQ has told LBC. Robert Hannigan said it was “clear” a number of the “countless” attacks were state-sponsored. He was speaking after Theresa May announced 23 Russian diplomats would be ...
Former boss at Brit electronic spy agency GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, has called for the application of "unexplained wealth orders" and economic sanctions against Russia rather than cyber attacks. Appearing on Radio 4's flagship Today programme this morning (Tuesday from 2:20-2:25), Hannigan said ...
Insurance brokers must play a more direct role in helping financial institutions and energy companies map and quantify cyber risk, a former director of the UK security agency GCHQ has said. Speaking at a Marsh Energy Insurance Conference in Dubai, Iain Lobban said insurance brokers should attend ...

GCHQ has warned that the charity sector is “particularly vulnerable” to cyber attacks, with rogue nations considered a specific threat. David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab commented below. David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab: “The threat of cyber-attacks is ...
The documents – from the National Security Agency and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ – offer a unique insight into how U.K. and U.S. intelligence agencies responded in the aftermath of the London bombings. They reveal how the attackers may have been ...
In 2016, the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) announced it was launching its first ever startup accelerator. It was founded with the goal of 'supporting the growth and development of the next generation of cyber security companies, growing capacity and capability nationally.' ...
GCHQ has previously denied in court hearings that external contractors from companies that supply software and computer equipment have administrator rights to live computer systems holding some of the most sensitive data gathered through electronic interception of people's internet and phone activity.

There should be an international treaty on cyberwarfare that sets clear boundaries for nation states around hacking computer infrastructure, the former director of GCHQ has said. In a wide-ranging interview, Robert Hannigan spelled-out the growing threats cyberwarfare, Russia, and artificial intelligence ...
GCHQ's National Cyber Security Centre is backing a Cambridge, UK initiative to find the best ethical hackers to bolster global cyber security defences. GCHQ says it is supporting Inter-ACE – the biggest cyber security competition for university students in the UK – at Cambridge University on March 16 and ...
As The Intercept reported in 2014, the hack turned out to have been perpetrated by U.K. surveillance agency Government Communications Headquarters, better known as GCHQ. The British spies hacked into Belgacom employees' computers and then penetrated the company's internal systems.
Spies from GCHQ were brought in to help catch a paedophile who was blackmailing victims on the internet and forcing them to carry out degrading and humiliating acts. Cambridge graduate Matthew Falder used the dark web to target vulnerable men, women and children online, getting them to send ...
GCHQ's National Cyber Security Centre claims that its strategy of "actively defending" the UK against high-volume commodity attacks is working. The Active Cyber Defence (ACD) programme aims to "protect the majority of people in the UK from the majority of the harm, caused by the majority of the attacks, ...
The wording of Section 94 directions disclosed in court implied that requests would be signed either by the director of GCHQ or by a senior member of the SRT, rather than a secretary of state. At least one of the directions gave powers to a nominated GCHQ official to “make, renew, or modify requests”.
The National Cyber Security Centre, part of GCHQ, has published advice for charities on how they can protect themselves against cyber attacks such as fraud and extortion. It is based on a threat assessment on the sector. This is the first threat assessment that the NCSC has carried out for the sector.


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