The Chinese attack on Google was "one of the most sophisticated ever seen", according to the CEO of McAfee.
David DeWalt, CEO of the security supplier, said the recent high-profile attack should act as a wake-up call to governments and multinationals about the potential threat from state-backed hackers intent on wreaking havoc.
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"The Google attack was the most sophisticated we have ever seen with the most complex attack vectors targeting networks with commercial impact," he said.
He added that although the US was starting to ensure that its military, political and utility network was protected far too many organisations had yet to step up their defences.
"You hope [the recent China attack would stir some action] but I don't think it has happened as much as we hope it has," he said.
McAfee was directly involved with fending off the attack but DeWalt said that the stakes in the security world were rising.
"When I became CEO three years ago I could go weeks before a global attack happened but now they are happening daily," he added "The world is not a safe place."
Earlier this month The Chinese attack on Google forced the search giant to rethink its strategy in the country and forced Microsoft into rushing out a patch to fix vunerabilities the hackers used in Internet Explorer.
A version of this story appeared on MicroScope.co.uk.