'

Government to raise awareness of cybercrime

e-minister Patricia Hewitt will advise uk companies on how to tackle cybercrime

The government has promised to advise Britain's Internet industry on how to defend itself against the growing threat of cyber crime at a computer security conference next week.

Patricia Hewitt, the government's e-minister, will outline the government's stance on the issue when she addresses leaders of Britain's Internet industry and computer security specialists at the Infosec conference in London Monday.

A Home Office spokesman says Hewitt will give guidance to a concerned industry and reassure it that the government is not dragging its heels over computer crime. "The UK government takes cybercrime very seriously and recently gave increased funding to the new cyber crime unit," the spokesman says.

The US government is also battling cybercrime. Following February's distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) on some of the world's largest Internet sites, Clinton's administration took a different approach than our own government by calling upon the industry to advise it.

According to experts, the recent spate of attacks highlights a fundamental weaknesses in the structure of the Internet. DDoS involves bombarding a Web site with an extraordinarily large amount of spoof traffic using software located on a number of remote, compromised servers. It has a devastating effect, literally overpowering its target.

Computer security consultant John Everitt, of Oceanus security believes it incumbent on the government to ensure companies are aware of potential dangers. He says that with a distributed attack, "any hobby hacker can launch an attack that otherwise he'd need a T1 . All solutions really come down to vigilance. [With government advice] You can at least have people ready to react in real time."

What do you think? Tell the Mailroom. And read what others have said.

Take me to Hackers