Invasion of the data snatchers more worrying than a nuclear attack

14 Jan 2010

Cybergeddon is about to be unleashed, warns internet security player AVG, pointing out that if key internet data falls into the growing armies of hackers a catastrophe more dangerous than a nuclear attack could occur.

AVG, in a blog posting, pointed to a statement by the FBI that cyber attacks are potentially more dangerous than a nuclear attack and weapons of mass destruction.

The internet security software firm cited US experts who have warned of an impending “cybergeddon”, in which an advanced economy, where everything of importance is controlled by computers, could fall prey to hackers.

“As you can imagine, this would result in pure catastrophe,” said Ema Linaker, global head of Online Engagement for AVG.

“Fortunately, we have yet to experience an event of this scale. However, we are still under constant threat from cyber crime. It’s therefore important that we each take basic steps in protecting ourselves online to avoid becoming the victim of an attack.

“With cyber criminals becoming ever more sophisticated, it is crucial to be protected at home.

“Typically, the first place to bring and set up your new toys, your home, abounds with technology treats for the hackers, such as mobile phones, games consoles and PDAs. More worryingly, PCs now contain up to 200 million lines of code, of which 2 million can include bugs that are easily infiltrated by cyber criminals,” she said.

Linaker said that ensuring you protect your PC will also help shield you from identity theft; a very real concern with financial cyber crime growing each year. In 2007, criminals stole stg£33.5 million from online bank accounts.

By John Kennedy

Photo: The FBI has reportedly stated that cyber attacks are potentially more dangerous than a nuclear attack

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years