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UK to review its cybersecurity after US election hacks

Two days after US intelligence agencies detail how Russian hacks interfered with the 2016 election, the UK announces an inquiry into its own online security.

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond unveils the UK's National Cyber Security Strategy at Microsoft's Future Decoded conference in London in November.

Katie Collins/CNET

God save the queen's emails.

The United Kingdom wants to make sure it can't be hit with a cyberattack like the one that affected the US 2016 presidential election. On Monday, Britain's Joint Committee on National Security Strategy announced that it's reviewing the nation's cybersecurity.

"The national security implications of the leap to cyber are a matter of increasing concern," committee chair Margaret Beckett said in a statement. "Attention has recently focused on the potential exploitation of the cyber domain by other states and associated actors for political purposes."

The announcement comes two days after US intelligence agencies detailed how Russia's hacks during the US presidential election and accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering a campaign to influence the outcome. The intelligence report (PDF) tracks leaked documents from a hacker named "Guccifer 2.0" to Russia's intelligence agency, the GRU.

UK's parliament launched its five-year National Cyber Security Strategy in November, with a £1.9 billion ($2.3 billion) budget to prevent future attacks. It's hoping to become a global leader in cyberdefense and to build up counter-attack strategies against hackers.

The UK government said it will treat and respond to cyberattacks as if they were conventional attacks. The US policy is still muddled on what constitutes an act of war in terms of cyberattacks.