Tuesday, November 11, 2008

UK business facing major cyber espionage attacks

ComputerworldUK: Government security chief says regulation isn't enough to stop IP theft

The computer systems of utility companies and large financial firms are continually being probed by thieves wanting to steal information, a UK security expert has warned. 

Industrial espionage probes are being waged on companies that provide the Britain's national infrastructure and on similar organisations across Europe, delegates at RSA Europe 2008 heard.

Mark Oram, head of information security knowledge department at the government-backed Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), said the instances of political, economic and technical spying were more common than cyber-terrorism attacks.

"We see frequent attacks on organisations for the purpose of intellectual property theft that we would not obviously classify as an attack on infrastructure," he said.

"The use of cyber techniques is relatively easy, cheap and low risk in terms of being caught," he said, adding that most of the time the culprit is known, but proving their guilt is difficult.

CPNI works to protect key government and private organisations in the UK and encourages coordinated approach to protecting IT infrastructure from attack.  

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