Hackers laugh at the law

This year's Infosecurity Europe conference will hit London's Olympia next week. In advance of the show, Computer Weekly has this...

This year's Infosecurity Europe conference will hit London's Olympia next week. In advance of the show, Computer Weekly has this week been sleeping with the enemy. Our interview with a black-hat hacker makes sobering reading for any IT professional with security responsibilities.

Asked whether he lives in fear of the Computer Misuse Act, the hacker - who readily admits to having broken into the IT systems of military suppliers - replies, "As far as I am concerned it doesn't affect me."

Given that such disdain for UK computer law exists, it is no surprise that the DTI's latest Information Security Breaches survey reveals that the number of organisations that have suffered a serious security breach has doubled since 2000.

Many companies are doing exciting things to improve security. This week alone, Computer Weekly focuses upon the airline industry's plans to introduce biometric technologies into the check-in process; and upon Prudential Assurance's forthcoming launch of a security staff awareness programme for employees.

But the DTI survey includes another, depressing statistic. Currently, less than one in five companies have attempted to hit back at hackers through legal action. Until the UK's cybercrime laws are reviewed and made to work harder for the end-user,
IT security concerns will continue to scupper attempts to capitalise upon the potential of online business.

Read more on Hackers and cybercrime prevention

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