Vital battle against cybercrime stepped up

07-Feb-2013 @ 12:0

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Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

A package of measures to tackle the growing problem of cybercrime across Europe was welcomed today by senior Conservative MEP Timothy Kirkhope.

The European Commission announced a Communication on Cyber Security and proposals for a directive on measures to ensure a high common level of cyber security across the European Union.

Timothy Kirkhope, Conservative Justice and Home Affairs Spokesman, and Vice President of the European Parliament Committee on Organised Crime and Cybercrime warned that attacks on computer systems had been identified as one of the major threats to UK national security.

He said: "The global nature of cybercrime means no country can afford to go it alone. Hopefully this directive will provide Europe with much-needed tools to tackle this growing and very dangerous threat."

The proposal outlines a framework for drastically reducing cybercrime through a strong legal framework, improving the capability of member states and increasing co-ordination at EU level. It proposes greater engagement between EU international partners in strengthening cyber security.

Mr Kirkhope, Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: "Cybercrime has a vast reach, from large-scale attacks against cyber networks and databases to identity theft, distribution of child pornography, counterfeiting pharmaceuticals and the sale of pirate products and drugs.

"It encompasses the hacking of online financial services, the proliferation of terrorism and attacks against technology hubs such as power plants, electrical grids, and government complexes.

"In the UK, cybercrime costs more than £27bn a year. Intellectual property fraud alone accounts for £9.2bn of this sum, according to Cabinet Office figures.

"Globally, around a million people have fallen victim to it each day at a cost of around €290 billion each year.

"Cyber criminals work across international boundaries, so cross-border co-operation within the EU and externally is essential.

"Cyber criminals are not selective: They could target children sitting on their computers at home, or adult consumers every time they log on for online banking services or to do the weekly shopping.

"The UK Government has been placing resources in this area, and it is positive that the EU is directing resources in the same way."

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