London Olympics cyber cops hit the ground running

But fake websites already off the starters' blocks

But fake websites already off the starters' blocks

The UK's new cyber crime unit has been tasked with protecting the London 2012 Games from hackers and online criminals.

The Police Central E-Crime Unit (PCeU) is in talks with Atos Origin and other IT suppliers to the London 2012 Games to secure the Games' IT backbone, which will support 1,000 servers and 10,000 PCs as well as wireless access at Olympic Park and results terminals at venues.

Co-architect of the unit, detective superintendent Charlie McMurdie, said the PCeU and its industry partners are looking for any weak links in the Games' network infrastructure, which will handle sporting results from 94 venues across the UK and relay them across the globe in less than a second.

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McMurdie added police are already seeing scam sites springing up with similar web addresses to official Games web pages, in an attempt to steal people's money and personal details.

"We are already seeing fraudulent websites exploiting the Olympics and we are considering what potential there is for hacking or extortion linked to DDoS attacks," she told silicon.com at the IT Directors Disaster Recovery and Availability Summit in London.

She added: "These fraudulent sites are doing things such as soliciting CVs or asking for money for training for the Olympics."

During the Beijing Olympics, Atos Origin handled 12 million security alerts per day and it will conduct more than 200,000 hours of testing on the London Games systems, starting in 2010.

"We know from previous Olympics the number and scale of attacks and that they are increasing at each event.

"We are talking with Atos Origin, ISPs and building industry contacts to form an intelligence picture of any threats," McMurdie said.