Wednesday, June 18, 2008

UK Security minister concerns risk of cyber-crime

CONCERN : UK Security minister concerns risk of cyber-crime

By Ash Dosanjh

17 Jun 2008


The UK government is taking action against state-sponsored cyber attacks, as well as individual hackers, according to Lord West.

The security minister addressed the House of Lords to tell them that the UK is the target for a “large number of attacks” and asserted that since the UK has become more connected, it faces greater challenges.

“There is no doubt that as we become more interconnected - as we are in terms of links to the internet, webs, and so on - we become more vulnerable,” said Lord West.

However, Lord West refused to specify on where and how the UK has been targets.

“There are a large number of attacks but it is not in the interests of national security to be specific about who has been attacked or when because that would give away techniques and skills.”

There a currently several defence mechanisms in place on the domestic front, according to Lord West. These include computer emergence response teams protection the public sector and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) security response teams defending the private sector.

The national response to cyber attacks is currently co-ordinated by the Central Sponsor for Information Assurance, which is part of the Cabinet Office.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said that they would not discuss details of individual attacks but did confirm that the UK had been targeted.

“Electronic attacks have been directed at various organisations globally, including elements of out national infrastructure, for criminal and other purposes. They may emanate from many parts of the world and it can be unclear where responsibility lies.

“Such attacks involve unauthorised access to computers and networks, with the intent of stealing data or disrupting services. It is not in the interest of our national security to confirm or deny attacks against specific organisations.”

Back in March, Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a statement to the House of Commons in which he said that the “nature of the threats and the risks that we face have in recent decades changed beyond all recognition”.

In his ‘National Security Strategy’, Brown reported that there would be moves to secure the UK against cyber attacks. According to the PM the new CPNI, which was set up last year, will provide “a higher level of protection against internet-based threats”.

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