MI5 Warns of 'Astonishing' Cyber Attacks

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MI5 director general Jonathan Evans recently gave a rare public speech describing the growing threat of organized cybercrime targeting businesses and government.

"In a speech at Mansion House, the MI5 director general highlighted the increase in malicious activity that is being carried out on an 'industrial scale,' and in many cases committed by nation states," writes TechEye's Matthew Finnegan.

"Vulnerabilities in the Internet are being exploited aggressively not just by criminals but also by states," Evans said. "And the extent of what is going on is astonishing -- with industrial-scale processes involving many thousands of people lying behind both State sponsored cyber espionage and organised cyber crime."

"Evans also admitted that one major London-listed company had incurred revenue losses of some £800 million as a result of a hostile state cyber attack, not just through intellectual property loss but also from commercial disadvantage in contractual negotiations," writes SC Magazine's Dan Raywood. "'They will not be the only corporate victim of these problems,' he said."

"As the Internet extends its reach beyond computers and servers to cars, traffic management systems, ATMs and industrial control systems, the scope of threats is only likely to increase, said Evans," writes The Register's John Leyden. "He said that to date, terrorists had made use of cyber attacks as a weapon but said it could happen in the future."

"Jonathan Evans' speech along with financial losses at banks across Europe shows that cyber espionage is becoming more prevalent [than] some realise," writes Computer Business Review's Tineka Smith. "Paul Davis, director of Europe at FireEye, warns that as attacks continue to become more advanced and complex, it's likely these activities will become more noticeable by the public as cybercrimes begin to target infrastructures and systems that have a greater impact on the general public."