Desperate to take the heat off itself for the outrageous spying on its on citizens, the UK government has leaked a story which it claims proves the whole 1984 thing was worthwhile.
Apparently a group of hackers had worked out a way to turn the lights off at the Olympic opening ceremony and James Bond had his work cut out for him stopping them. OK it is not exactly taking control of a cruise missile and plunging it into the corporate hospitality stands, but it would have been irritating. The head of the government's surveillance centre GCHQ, Sir Iain Lobban, says reconnaissance has taken place in cyberspace and there is a "realistic threat", which his intelligence agency is working with partners to try to counter.
Apparently GCHQ phoned the organisers at 04:45 to warn the head of cyber security for the Games. "There was a suggestion that there was a credible attack on the electricity infrastructure supporting the Games," Olympic cyber security head Oliver Hoare, who received the call, told BBC Radio 4. After lots of testing and playing out different scenarios the organisers worked out that what ever attack the hackers did, the lights would be back on in 30 seconds. In the end nothing happened at all and the threat turned out to be a false alarm. But it does highlight a growing fear about the vulnerability of Britain's critical infrastructure to cyber-attack.
Never the less it seems that the British are trying to re-assure the public that attacks on infrastructure by terrorists are likely and it is worth having lots of cyber surveillance to prevent these sort of attacks which did not happen.