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Threat from Cyber-terrorism at par with Military Attacks

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the military alliance comprising democratic nations of North America and Europe, has warned that the threat to a country's security from cyber-terrorism is same as that from a missile strike. The organization was participating at the 2008 e-Crime Congress in London on March 5-6.

Cyber crime, such as hacking, specifically involves computers and their networks and the creation of opportunities for traditional computer-based crime. Aside this, there also exists other crimes, which are through criminals' use of computers for data or document storage and communication.

Criminals use malicious code to install viruses, corrupt data, spread misinformation, crash networks, collect intelligence, and intrude into vital, peaceful intelligence and military operations, including navigation, logistics, command, control and communications. What this essentially means is that wiring it across the Web could make systems potentially vulnerable.

In the opinion of NATO, Web attacks are becoming ever more sophisticated as in the case of a partly autonomous Trojan that infiltrated NATO's network. trojans are also found to dig into networks for important statements on specific underground projects followed with attempts to install themselves on other networks mentioning them.

Head of NATO's Computer Incident Response Capability Co-ordination Center, Suleyman Anil, said to guests at the e-Crime Congress that a deliberate cyber attack staged on the online infrastructure of a country would be nearly impossible to foil. ZDNet.co.uk published this in news on March 10, 2008.

Countries need to concentrate on enhancing their ability to quickly recover from such attacks and bring back the systems to work, an issue that is currently not sufficiently strong in almost every country. These attacks have been observed in large numbers and it is unlikely that the problem would disappear soon. Internationally supported measures are required to prevent the problem from turning into a global hazard, added Anil.

One of the major trends in the past years has been cyber-terrorism that is evident from attacks against government Websites of Estonia in 2007. The Estonian attacks brought down important state and financial systems demonstrating the capability of cyber-terrorism to crash national infrastructure leading to serious consequences.

Related article: Third Data Breach on Pfizer’s System

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