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Daily Telegraph: MI5 calls in KPMG to warn of espionage

By Russell Hotten
Last Updated: 1:52am GMT 05/12/2007

The security service MI5 has asked consultants KPMG to lead a group to monitor cases of industrial espionage and co-ordinate information between Britain’s leading companies.

MI5 is increasingly concerned at attempts by foreign governments to hack into the computer systems of major firms, and last week accused China of trying to steal corporate secrets.

KPMG, which works closely with the GCHQ listening station, is creating a “risk management information exchange”, with a team of security and IT experts to assess “threat levels” and warn of imminent dangers.

If a company discovers attempts to breach computer security through, say, viruses, the information can be passed to MI5 and other companies using the KPMG group.

Last week, the director-general of MI5, Jonathan Evans, sent confidential letters to 300 chief executives and security heads at major companies warning about “electronic espionage” from “Chinese state organisations”.

It was later reported that Rolls-Royce and Royal Dutch Shell had faced attempts to breach their computer security systems. The US and France have accused China of industrial espionage – which Beijing strongly denied. China has yet to respond to the MI5 claims.

Martin Jordan, principal adviser to KPMG on IT security, and head of the new group, said: “The intention is to give an early warning when threats appear. The information will be disseminated through a small group of people, but it will hopefully give MI5 a bigger overview of what is going on.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/12/05/cnmi5105.xml

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