Davos call for global action against cybercrime

Jan 26, 2012 by Hui Min Neo
File photo of French police working in an anti-cybercrime unit in Villeneuve-d'Ascq. International action to snuff out cybercrime is desperately needed, officials and business leaders said here, warning that criminals move at Internet speed while countries drag their feet.

International action to snuff out cybercrime is desperately needed, officials and business leaders said here, warning that criminals move at Internet speed while countries drag their feet.

Many hackers are no longer just mischievous individuals.

Instead well-funded organisations do it for profit, along with spies and terrorists, but many governments are struggling to fight it.

"Many countries don't have laws to criminalise , they don't have means and tools to investigate, to share information," said Yury Fedotov, who heads the United Nations office on drugs and crime.

Cybercrime is "interconnected in terms of crime, but not interconnected in collaboration" against it, he added, noting that there is not even an agreement on what constitutes cybercrime.

Fedotov said his greatest wish would be "to get a clear definition of cybercrime -- to be clear about what should be rejected by member states and what should be allowed."

A World Economic Forum (WEF) logo is seen on January 25, 2012 at the Congress Center in Davos. Some 1,600 economic and political leaders, including 40 heads of states and governments, will be asked to urgently find ways to reform a capitalist system that has been described as "outdated and crumbling as they converge at eastern Switzerland's chic ski station of Davos.

"Criminals move at the speed of Internet and countries move at speed of democracy -- that's the discrepancy," warned Moises Naim, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

In one of the major recent attacks in January, a hacker brought down the websites of Israel's national carrier El Al and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

It marked the latest incident in a series of attacks only days into 2012, which saw details of tens of thousands of Israeli credit cards posted online and websites defaced by hackers claiming to be from or Gaza.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Gaza's Hamas rulers, has hailed the action, describing it as "a sign of the Arab youth's creativity in inventing new forms of Arab and Islamic resistance against the Israeli occupation."

The Israeli market was not the only one subject to such attacks.

US exchange Nasdaq's general counsellor Edward Knight told delegates in Davos that the world's largest exchange company is also "subject to constant attacks, a million or more ... intrusions into our systems."

He complained that there is no clarity on "where is public responsibility and where is private responsibility" on clamping down on such crime.

Unlike real world attacks, the private sector is required to provide its own defence system, even if virtual attacks are coming from foreign governments.

Kevin Johnson, chief executive officer at the US-based Internet infrastructure provider Juniper Networks, urged state authorities to work with private organisations to clamp down on such crime.

"The challenge is that the Internet is a global resource but there are no geographic boundaries on the Internet, yet laws are established by nation states, they are established by geography," he said.

"One recommendation is any solution... is going to require a much higher degree of public, private partnership," Johnson stressed.

Explore further: Startups offer banking for smartphone users

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Websites of Israel bourse, airline brought down

Jan 16, 2012

The websites of Israeli national carrier El Al and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) were both offline on Monday morning, hours after they were reportedly threatened by a Saudi hacker.

UK govt to announce new cyber security strategy

Nov 25, 2011

The government is set to announce new measures to tackle cyber crime on Friday as Britain's internet and electronic communications network comes under increased attack from hackers and foreign intelligence ...

Hackers expose more Israeli credit card details

Jan 06, 2012

A group of Saudi hackers calling themselves group-xp published details of more than 6,000 Israeli credit cards online in the second such incident in three days, army radio reported on Friday.

Recommended for you

Startups offer banking for smartphone users

Aug 30, 2014

The latest banks are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Startups, such as Moven and Simple, offer banking that's designed specifically for smartphones, enabling users to track their spending on the go. Some things ...

Ecuador heralds digital currency plans (Update)

Aug 29, 2014

Ecuador is planning to create what it calls the world's first digital currency issued by a central bank, which some analysts believe could be a first step toward abandoning the country's existing currency, ...

'SwaziLeaks' looks to shake up jet-setting monarchy

Aug 29, 2014

As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepares to end a two-year forced stay at Ecuador's London embassy, he may take comfort in knowing he inspired resistance to secrecy in places as far away as Swaziland.

WEF unveils 'crowdsourcing' push on how to run the Web

Aug 28, 2014

The World Economic Forum unveiled a project on Thursday aimed at connecting governments, businesses, academia, technicians and civil society worldwide to brainstorm the best ways to govern the Internet.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Sepp
1 / 5 (1) Jan 29, 2012
Barf.