Responding to the WannaCry Attack: The Future of UK Cybersecurity Policymaking

Responding to the WannaCry Attack: The Future of UK Cybersecurity Policymaking
5 June 2017, 6.00pm - 8.00pm
  • Dr Steve Murdoch (Computer Science Faculty, UCL and University of Cambridge)
  • Dr Julio Hernandez-Castro (School of Computing, University of Kent)
  • Dr Tim Stevens (Lecturer, King's College London)
  • Chair:  Dr Nora Ni Loideain (Director and Lecturer in Law, Information Law and Policy Centre, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies)

The recent WannaCry ransomware attack which infected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries has brought the future of cybersecurity policy-making into sharp focus. In the UK, the ransomware cryptoworm caused significant problems to NHS computer systems highlighting the vulnerability of a critical pillar of national infrastructure to cyberattack.

The success of the ransomware in exploiting weaknesses in Microsoft operating systems raises questions at a number of levels. Individual organisations have been reassessing their approaches to software updates, regular back ups and staff training, while governmental policy and the role of the security agencies in protecting the public has also come under scrutiny.

An interdisciplinary panel of experts will discuss the legal, technical, and societal implications of the attack.

The discussion will take place in the context of an election campaign where all the major parties have included cyber security policies in their manifestos.


Dr Julio Hernandez-Castro is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Security at the School of Computing, University of Kent. His research interests range from Cryptology (particularly Lightweight Crypto) to Steganography & Steganalysis, including Computer & Network Security, Computer Forensics, CAPTCHAs, and RFID Security.  He is the Principal Investigator (PI) for the RAMSES EU Horizon 2020 Project that deals with ransomware from a technical and economic perspective. He is also a member of the EUROPOL Expert Platform.

Dr Steven Murdoch is a Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Information Security Research Group of the Department of Computer Science at University College London. His work aims to develop metrics for security and privacy. His research interests include authentication/passwords, banking security, anonymous communications, censorship resistance and covert channels. He is also a member of the Tor Project. In a recent commentary on the WannaCry attack he argued that “various stakeholders seem to be more concerned with blaming each other than with working together to prevent further attacks affecting organisations and individuals”.

Dr Tim Stevens is Lecturer in Global Security in the Department of War Studies, King's College London. He has published widely on cybersecurity and related issues and is the author of Cyber Security and the Politics of Time (Cambridge UP, 2016) and co-author of Cyberspace and the State (Routledge, 2011).


Dr Nora Ni Loideain, Director and Lecturer in Law of the Information Law and Policy Centre, will chair the event.

Our discussion will be followed by a wine reception.

This event is free but advanced booking is required.  All welcome.  


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