HC Deb 29 November 1988 vol 142 c566
9. Mr. Darling

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he has any plans to strengthen the security of sensitive defence computer systems.

Mr. Archie Hamilton

Yes. For security reasons I am not prepared to disclose details.

Mr. Darling

Can the Minister tell us whether British defence computer systems have been interfered with? Can Britain's defence computer system be infiltrated as happened in the United States when computer hackers spread a virus in the system and so compromised defence? The Minister sounds a little complacent, as if he is seeking to hide behind a shroud of secrecy. Will he answer my question and give the House the assurances it needs?

Mr. Hamilton

There is no question of the Government hiding behind a shroud of secrecy. The fact is that we have no evidence that our highly classified system has been tampered with or that anybody has obtained access to it. Low-classified information is different because such computer systems are open to large numbers of people.