A Foreign Office countryside estate that hosts high-level discussions about global security was besieged by a cyber attack last month.
Hackers targeted Wilton Park, a government agency operating out of a 16th century mansion in West Sussex, it was revealed tonight.
There is no evidence they stole any data but the outpost’s security operation is being stepped up.
Sources said that the National Cyber Security Centre was called in to help investigate following the breach.
It is understood the attack is not connected to the devastating cyber attack on the Solar Winds Orion software, which US officials pin on Russian hackers.
The Foreign Office has not commented on any suspects of its investigation, but tonight confirmed the breach, which was first reported by The Sun.
A Government spokesperson said: ‘We take data security very seriously. There is no evidence at this stage that data has been taken following a cyber incident at Wilton Park.’
Officials stressed that Wilton Park’s computer system is less secure than the Foreign Office’s IT, which holds classified information.
However it is understood Wilton Park’s cyber defences will be upgraded in light of the hack.
Based in an imposing countryside house looming over the 6,000 acres of the South Downs National Park, Wilton Park is used for forums with political, diplomatic and business leaders.
It was established in 1946 and takes its name from the Wilton Park estate in Buckinghamshire, which was used as a Prisoner of War camp during World War II.
The government describes Wilton Park as ‘a global forum for strategic discussion’.
‘It organises over 50 events a year in the UK and overseas, bringing together leading representatives from the worlds of politics, business, academia, diplomacy, civil society and media.’