Cyber war a real threat

Cyber warfare is not fiction, it’s a very real threat, delegates at ITU Telecom World 2012 have been told.

Panellists at Telecom World in Dubai said that cyber war is a threat that faced globally, right now. They noted cyber threats are everywhere and growing exponentially. There are more than six billion mobile phone subscriptions – cyber material that can be used for malicious purposes making managing of this threat hugely difficult.

In the midst of this problem, ITU Secretary General Dr Hamadoun Touré urged action, but without losing sight of the tremendous benefits and opportunities offered by the rise of the internet, especially for people in aspiring nations.

“We are today living in a cyber world, and we know there are advantages and also there are threats,” said Dr Touré. “The good things in cyberspace are much better than the threats, and that is one thing that we have to keep in mind.”

“Earlier this year, a complex piece of malware called the Flame Virus made headlines, alerting the world once again to the exciting opportunities that come with rising global connectivity also carry with them serious threats. And the threats, to date at least, are moving far faster than the institutions that can tackle them.”

“We are living in a very, very fast moving world,” said Eugene Kaspersky, Founder and CEO of Kaspersky Labs, which is credited with uncovering the Flame Virus. “Cyber malware is moving fast, and governments don’t have enough time to keep up and tackle this threat.”

Part of the problem is that there is no internationally agreed definition of what constitutes ‘cyberwarfare’ making it hard to come up with solutions when the problem itself hasn’t been clearly identified.

Even more alarming, said Kaspersky, is that the nature of cyberweapons means they can be easily copied and used for terrorist purposes.

“I think that the worst news is that the difference between cyberweapons and traditional weapons is that cyberweapons are very easy to copy – it is after all, just a piece of code,” said Kaspersky. “Think of it like this: it’s like some guys building an A-bomb in their garage.”

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