Davos call for global action against cybercrime

January 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states and governments, will be asked to urgently find ways to reform a capitalist system that has been described as "outdated and crumbling as they converge at eastern Switzerland's chic ski station of Davos.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: Websites of Israel bourse, airline brought down

Related Stories

Websites of Israel bourse, airline brought down

January 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

November 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 agencies.

Hackers expose more Israeli credit card details

January 6, 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

Your (social media) votes matter

January 24, 2017

When Tim Weninger conducted two large-scale experiments on Reddit - otherwise known as "the front page of the internet" - back in 2014, the goal was to better understand the ripple effects of malicious voting behavior and ...

Protective wear inspired by fish scales

January 24, 2017

They started with striped bass. Over a two-year period the researchers went through about 50 bass, puncturing or fracturing hundreds of fish scales under the microscope, to try to understand their properties and mechanics ...

'Droneboarding' takes off in Latvia

January 22, 2017

Skirted on all sides by snow-clad pine forests, Latvia's remote Lake Ninieris would be the perfect picture of winter tranquility—were it not for the huge drone buzzing like a swarm of angry bees as it zooms above the solid ...

Singapore 2G switchoff highlights digital divide

January 22, 2017

When Singapore pulls the plug on its 2G mobile phone network this year, thousands of people could be stuck without a signal—digital have-nots left behind by the relentless march of technology.

Making AI systems that see the world as humans do

January 19, 2017

A Northwestern University team developed a new computational model that performs at human levels on a standard intelligence test. This work is an important step toward making artificial intelligence systems that see and understand ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

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

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.