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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

London Olympics Face Cyber Attack Threat

Jonathan Evans, MI5 head, has warned about the astonishing level of threat posed by hacker attacks on business and government infrastructure in the United Kingdom. During his speech, he emphasized the increase in hacking activity which was carried out on an “industrial scale”, and usually committed by nation states.

It was pointed out that hybrid private-public partnerships have been sniffing out important intellectual property and leaking commercial secrets. In fact, every single Fortune 500 company was suspected to be under threat. Jonathan Evans explained that the threat is now reaching greater prominence, as a number of high-profile attacks increases, with both businesses and authorities being attacked aggressively.

Meanwhile, Evans points out that it’s not just about the government secrets, but also about the safety and security of the country’s infrastructure. For instance, one of the major London listed companies was fleeced for £800 million in result of a state-sponsored hacker attack. This intrusion caused intellectual property loss and a commercial disadvantage, with leaking the company’s corporate secrets, and the experts predict that they won’t be the only corporate victim of these problems.

Indeed, as the world moves into the connected web of things, it automatically increases opportunities for cyber criminals, which could lead to the risk of real world damage, not only information loss. Ahead of the London Olympic Games, the fears are that even if terrorists don’t succeed in hacker attacks, they are undoubtedly aware of the potential to do so.

Security experts at Sophos confirm that the signs of increased hacker threats are evident for a while now. This is a real threat, no matter if it’s financially motivated cyber crime or Anonymous groups, or a real state-sponsored cyber crime. Of course, the authorities should be on high alert for such attacks at the costly Olympics.

Meanwhile, political hacktivists are now regarded as the biggest threat which causes havoc at the event, so there should be protective measures in place if the United Kingdom wants to avoid a disaster. The experts say that more needs to be done in order to mitigate the threat of such actions, otherwise the country will surely see not just the private sector, but also government and military outfits put at risk, which would cause devastating impact on the British companies.

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