The Government is spending £15m to confront cybercrime and Internet hackers, e-commerce minister Patricia Hewitt said this week.
"We have recently seen to devastating effect how hackers can penetrate and disrupt services on the Internet," Hewitt said.
The money, from the Department for Trade and Industry's Information of Management programme, will be spent on the Computational Immunology for Fraud Detection project.
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The DTI's investment pales into insignificance alongside the programme announced by US President Clinton after the denial of service attacks on Amazon, Yahoo and others earlier this year.
President Clinton convened a high-profile White House summit on the issue with two dozen executives of high-tech firms.
His proposed federal budget for 2001 calls for the spending of $2bn on security-related issues, with much of that going on research and development in informationsecurity. The arrest of two teenagers from a west Wales village for alleged hacking last week, in a joint police/FBI operation, shows the scale of the security threat.
The two are alleged to have hacked into business sites, downloaded credit card details - including Microsoft's Bill Gates - and posted them on the Internet.
Dai Davies of the Dyfed Powys Police said, "Two 18-year-olds were arrested in connection with alleged offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990."