"The 100 [hacking] groups range from fully subordinate employees of the state… all the way to small criminal groups operating outside any legal framework," Martin said in an interview with The Sunday Times newspaper.
According to the official, the most active groups are funded from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran, with the number of hackers working for such groups reaching 1,000.
Since the beginning of the year, the intelligence services have reportedly detected about 750 cyberattacks targeting the country's infrastructure and financial system. The hackers are using the stolen information and fake data as a weapon.
The issue of cybersecurity has been particularly acute over the past months in the United Kingdom after a number of major cyberattacks hit the country, as well as other states around the world. In May, WannaCry ransomware affected over 200,000 computers in some 150 countries, including those belonging to the UK National Health Service. The attack affected the work of 48 hospitals across England and Scotland, hundreds of scheduled operations and appointments were canceled.
UK and US officials blamed North Korea for the attacks. Deputy Permanent Representative of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the UN Kim In Ryong said that attempts to link North Korea with the cyberattacks were "ridiculous."