Firms must take some blame for hackers

As Computer Weekly went to press, the attention of the IT world was focused on Aaron Caffrey, who is standing trial at Southwark...

As Computer Weekly went to press, the attention of the IT world was focused on Aaron Caffrey, who is standing trial at Southwark Crown Court.

The teenager is alleged to have halted computer systems at the port of Houston in Texas with a denial of service attack originating from a computer in his bedroom in Dorset. Police believe it to be the first electronic attack to disable a critical part of a country's infrastructure.

It would be wrong to pin all the blame on Caffrey. Houston must take some of the responsibility for failing to patch their systems. The vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Information Server has been in the public domain for more than a year.

While the ability of Scotland Yard and the FBI to work together to bring such cases to court should be applauded, the IT profession must get its own house in order to reduce the chance of these cases happening in the first place.

Read more on Hackers and cybercrime prevention

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