Ciaran Martin, director of cybersecurity at GCHQ has confirmed that Russia has hacked Britain's national grid and tried to penetrate various telecommunication companies - including BT.

In a statement issued to The Sun, Mr Martin says:

"I can confirm that Russian interference, seen by the National Cyber Security Centre over the past year, has included attacks on the UK media, telecommunication and energy sectors."

"Russia is seeking to undermine the international system, that much is clear. The Prime Minister made the point on Monday night - international order as we know it is in danger."

This comes in the wake of a recent speech from Prime Minister, Theresa May whereby she slammed a Russian “campaign of cyber-espionage” and addressed them directly saying “I have a very simple message for Russia. We know what you are doing and you will not succeed”.

The Russian Foreign Ministry responded to her statement with a cryptic tweet. 

Mr Martin is yet to confirm the exact methods used to breach the national grid, or what impact it had, stating that he “can’t get into precise details of intelligence matters”

The UK government has taken a pro-active stance on cybersecurity, with Philip Hammond pledging to spend £1.9billion on the industry over five years (from November 2016). This works out to roughly £380million each year. You can find a copy of the UK governments cybersecurity strategy here. 

Cybersecurity has been in the spotlight a lot recently with North Korea being blamed for the Wannacry ransomware attacks, and earlier this month saw a new EU framework that considers cyberattacks an act of war.

Where things will progress from here is anyone’s guess, but hopefully both sides will turn off their PC’s and ensure a peaceful resolution.