Monday 22 December 2014

Harsh reminder that cyber threat is very real

Published 28/02/2013 | 05:00

NEWS that government systems have been attacked by hackers is a reminder that it's not just the great powers that are facing cyber assaults.

The report from the security firm Kaspersky Labs paints a grim picture of the state of security.

The malware was coded into a pdf document – one of the most commonly used file formats in the world – and when an unwitting user opened the document, the code infected their computer and quickly worked its way into the rest of the system.

It's not yet clear who controlled the malware, or what exactly it was looking for, but the fact that there was a breach should be enough to make the Government ramp up its defences.

Theoretically, the software could be used to steal the most sensitive of state documents or critical infrastructure plans, or, perhaps more worryingly, a garda database.

In recent years, the global media focus has been on a cyber war that seems to be conducted by China against US and western interests in general.

With all the coverage that has been getting, it's easy to forget about the little guys like Ireland.

The online security threat is real, and it won't be going away any time soon. The Government must keep alive to that fact of the threat.

Irish Independent

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