Spies and big business fight cyberattacks

International Herald Tribune: Britain’s intelligence services, working alongside security experts from private companies, are setting up a secret control center in London to combat what the head of the country’s domestic spy agency has described as “astonishing” levels of cyberattacks.

The existence of the so-called Fusion Cell was due to be confirmed on Wednesday in a statement on the government’s strategy to boost information sharing in an expanding cyberwar against online attackers.

A team of security analysts at an undisclosed location will monitor attacks on large screens and provide details in real-time of who is being targeted, according to the BBC.

The British initiative, which also includes the creation of a social network-style web portal to facilitate information exchange, is the latest in a series of international measures to combat what is seen as the growing threat of cyberattacks to both business and government networks.

President Obama last month signed an executive order to increase information sharing about cyberthreats between the government and private companies.

“We have seen a steady ramping up of cybersecurity threats,” Mr. Obama said in a recent interview. “Some are state sponsored, some are just sponsored by criminals.”

Jonathan Evans, the outgoing head of MI5, Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, made a similar point ahead of last year’s London Olympic Games.

“Vulnerabilities in the internet are being exploited aggressively not just by criminals but also by states,” he said in a rare interview. “The extent of what is going on is astonishing.”

The victims are said to include big companies. The BBC said one major London listed company had lost the equivalent of $1.2 billion as a result of a cyberattack from a hostile state. [Continue reading…]

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