The UK faces the danger of a "catastrophic" cyber attack that could paralyse the country and bring its economy to a standstill, TechWeekEurope has reported, citing Russian Internet security expert Eugene Kaspersky.
The co-founder and CEO of antivirus software vendor Kaspersky Lab issued the warning during a dinner with James Brokenshire, the UK minister for crime and security. Also present at the event were City of London Police commissioner Adrian Leppard and National Fraud Authority chief executive Stephen Harrison. Kaspersky warned that cyber criminals could use code to attack critical infrastructure, thus rendering companies inoperative, crippling governments and holding entire nations to ransom. The consequences of such an attack would be nothing short of catastrophic for human populations, he said.
According to Kaspersky, the threat can be countered through greater investment undertaken jointly by the public and private sectors. In addition, more investment is needed in education, which is something the industry is widely believed to have overlooked so far. As Kaspersky pointed out, private sector operators, most notably IT and security solutions providers, have ample experience of fighting cyber crime and state bodies will benefit greatly from access to it. The private sector will in turn benefit from the partnership through the enhanced cyber threat visibility it provides.
Kaspersky had told TechWeekEurope earlier that he supported the idea for a non-proliferation treaty in the area of cyber weapons. His dinner comments were made only a day after Adrian Price, chief of information security at the Ministry of Defence, warned that a cyber attack could bring down the UK government. Price insisted to TechWeekEurope that the threat was not exaggerated.
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