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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Intelligence Agency Warned over Hacks

Iain Lobban, a head of the UK’s largest intelligence agency, has recently warned of a rapid increase in cyber attacks that could jeopardize the country’s economic well-being. He emphasized the increasing problem of hacks on the government, pointing at a considerable attack on the Foreign Office this past summer. In addition, Lobban has noted an increase in the number of cyber attempts to steal sensitive information from various government sources and private companies, including attempts at IP theft on some engineering, energy and defense contract companies.

William Hague, Foreign Secretary, also confirmed an “exponential rise” in the number of attacks. He flagged up the country’s tax database as the one very liable to attack. Everyone is stressing concerns over Internet security ahead of a 2-day conference that starts on Tuesday and will focus on the growing problem. The list of participants includes big names like Hilary Clinton, Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia co-founder), Brad Boston (Cisco vice president) and many others.

Cyber concerns have been increasing on a global scale recently, as the world feared of a close relative of the Stuxnet virus, Duqu, being found, despite the fact that some experts believed the two weren’t linked. Security experts keep saying that the government just needs to make sure that defenses are kept up on an individual level, which can help keep up the constant battle of fending off hacker attacks. They point out that there’s never such a thing as a 100% defense, and there’s always a risk. However, the government is able to take defensible steps like educating users on how to prevent their computers from being compromised. Individual users must realize the importance of keeping security update current. They also must ensure their anti virus software is up to date.

The experts believe that Lobban’s warnings of growing cyber-threat are right, as well as constant attempts to steal sensitive data. Therefore, the government should make sure it is properly defended. There are people out there making attempts to hack into systems, and apparently they could wish to harm the country. However, it might be difficult to learn about the attacks – sometimes it’s hard to see that the information was copied and the hack may go unnoticed. That’s why any outfit must work with assuming the worst in this sense and start from there.

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