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UK to appoint national IT security chief

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The UK is set to appoint a cyber security chief to coordinate national IT defences against online espionage and hacking.

Gordon Brown will announce the formation of the post tomorrow, according to reports, in order to address fears that organised hackers are successfully targeting UK businesses and key public sector resources.

The move follows the creation of a similar post by US President Barack Obama last month. Obama told a press conference that western powers were not as prepared as they could be, and drew attention to the dangers of online terrorism: "not only a few extremists in suicide vests, but from a few key strokes of a computer – a weapon of mass disruption".

Several years ago, Whitehall was warned by the government that they were facing targeted Trojan attacks on an "almost industrial" scale.

The appointment will be announced as part of the UK's national security strategy.
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