The Government will launch a new drive today to alert the public to the threat of cyber attack, amid warnings that Britain's critical national infrastructure could be a target.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude is publishing an update of the Government's cyber security strategy, including new measures to improve the UK's ability to deal with "high-end threats".

Officials acknowledged hostile foreign states and others had targeted systems controlling UK infrastructure such as power and water supplies.

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They would not be drawn on the countries involved but it has been reported both Russia and China have carried out reconnaissance for a cyber attack on the US's national infrastructure.

Officials say they now spend a lot of time advising Britain's infrastructure companies to guard against such online onslaughts.

Speaking before today's publication, Mr Maude said the entire country needed to become more "cyber savvy".

He said: "We are in a race to build sufficient cyber defences to match the growing volume and dependence of our online economic, security and social interests.

"It's a race we can only win by working together: Government, industry, academia and the public."