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‘Next world war may be in cyberspace’

No Nation Is Immune To Attack As There’s No Superpower In This Fight: UN

Geneva: The next world war could take place in cyberspace, the UN telecommunications agency chief warned as experts called for action to stamp out cyber attacks.
    “The next world war could happen in cyberspace and that would be a catastrophe. We have to make sure that all countries understand that in that war, there is no such thing as a superpower,” Hamadoun Toure said on Tuesday.
    “Loss of vital networks would quickly cripple any nation, and none is immune to cyberattack,” added the secretary-general of the International Telecommunications Union during the ITU’s Telecom World 2009 fair in Geneva.
    Toure said countries have become “critically dependent” on technology for commerce, finance, health care, emergency services and food distribution. “The best way to win a war is to avoid it in the first place,” he stressed.
    As the internet becomes more linked with daily lives, cyberattacks and crimes have
also increased in frequency, experts said. Such attacks include the use of “phishing” tools to get hold of passwords to commit fraud, or attempts by hackers to bring down secure networks.
    Individual countries have started to respond by bolstering their defences.
    US secretary for Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said on Thursday that she has received the green light to hire up to 1,000 cybersecurity experts to ramp up the United States’ defenses against cyber threats.
    South Korea has also announced plans to train 3,000 “cyber sheriffs” by next year to protect businesses after a spate of attacks on state and private websites.
    Warning of the magnitude of cybercrimes and attacks, Carlos Solari, Alcatel-Lucent’s vice-president on central quality, security and reliability, told a forum here that breaches in e-commerce are now already running to “hundreds of billions”. AFP


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