China, 120 countries targetting UKs computersNovember 29th, 2007 - 6:46 pm ICT by admin
London, Nov.29 (ANI): Government and military computer systems are coming under sustained attack from China and other countries, a significant study has said.
The annual Virtual Criminology Report, which draws on interviews with senior staff at organisations such as the Serious Organised Crime Agency, NATO and the FBI, says that Britain has entered a cyber-Cold War in which web-based espionage poses the biggest threat to national security.
It envisages a future where rogue governments and criminal gangs target the computer systems that run electricity, air traffic control, financial markets and computer networks.
We know that UK computer networks have been probed by China. The means to carry out cyber-warfare have been under development for years. Now is the first time that we are seeing states flex their muscles, The Telegraph quoted Ian Brown, of the University of Oxford, and one of the reports authors, as saying.
Dr Brown added that computer programs traced back to China had been found trying to crack Whitehall passwords and attempting to find weak spots in the UKs IT infrastructure.
McAfee, the computer security firm, commissioned the Virtual Criminology Report, and found that attacks have progressed from initial curiosity probes to well-funded and well organised operations for political, military, economic and technical espionage.
It identifies China as the country most active in internet-enabled spying attacks, but says that 120 other countries are using similar techniques.
Defence departments across the globe are already rewriting manuals for a future of digital warfare.
The US has recorded 37,000 attempted breaches of government and private systems in 2007, and a new unit at the US Air Force, staffed by 40,000 people, has been set up to prepare for future cyber-wars.
NATO has said that all 26 of its member countries have been targeted.
Jeff Green, of McAfee, said: Cyber-crime has evolved significantly. Over the next five years, we will start to see international governments take action. (ANI)
Tags: china, computer networks, criminal gangs, criminology, cyber crime, cyber warfare, cyber wars, defence departments, digital warfare, espionage, fbi, initial curiosity, mcafee, military computer systems, nato, organised crime, serious organised crime agency, target, uks, us air