This event took place at the Information Law and Policy Centre at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies on Monday, 5 June 2017.

5 June 2017
18:00 to 20:00
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR
Book: Online on the SAS events website. (Event is free but registration is required.)

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

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 cybersecurity policies in their manifestos.


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 Julio Hernandez-Castro, is 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 Tim Stevens is Lecturer in Global Security at King’s College London. His research looks critically at global security practices, with specific interests in cybersecurity and digital surveillance. He has also written on time and temporality in International Relations theory, most recently in a monograph, Cyber Security and the Politics of Time (Cambridge University Press, 2016).


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.