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UK's Cyber & Influence Science & Technology Centre at Porton Down

In a documentary timelined 4 June 2019, BBC broadcast a documentary by its security correspondent, Frank Gardner who was given access to UK's Cyber & Influence Science & Technology Centre (CISTC) at Porton Down, Britain’s top secret laboratory where defences against chemical weapons, ballistics, explosives and cyber-security are researched.

Apparently £80 million a year is being provided by the UK government for research into related areas of cyber and influence, implications of the developing cyber threat for the security environment at Porton Down.

The public airing of the facility at Porton Down reaffirmed our previous postings likening the similarity and characteristics of malware and computer viruses to viruses permeating the environment that affects all living cells and organisms. 

Besides the CISTC, Porton Down apparently also houses the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) team that analyse some of the world’s deadliest viruses - Ebola and Marburg and confirmed that a military-grade nerve agent had been deployed against the Russian former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia at a park in London. 

Until this airing, the public generally assumed that cybersecurity matters in the UK are under the care of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) an intelligence and security organisation that is responsible for providing signals intelligence (SIGINT) and information assurance to the government and armed forces of the United Kingdom.

GCHQ has two main components, the Composite Signals Organisation (CSO), which is responsible for gathering information, and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is responsible for securing the UK's own communications.

According to Wikipedia, GCHQ also had access to the US internet monitoring programme PRISM since June 2010. PRISM is said to give the US National Security Agency and FBI easy access to the systems of nine of the world's top internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, and Skype. Wikipedia also states that in 2015, GCHQ admitted for the first time in court that it conducts computer hacking. what does Porton Down really do? 


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