London is today gearing up to host representatives from over 60 nations, assembling in the capital to discuss how best to respond to the growing threat posed by cybercrime – 24hrs after GCHQ warned attacks on the UK were now at “disturbing” levels.
Convened by foreign secretary William Hague the two day event will see EU digital head Neelie Kroes rub shoulders with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and representatives from Cisco and Facebook.
They will attempt to set out a range of rules to govern “acceptable behaviour” online but will fall short of drafting a full treaty.
Catalin Cosoi, Head of the Online Threats Lab at internet security solutions provider Bitdefender said: “This year will go down as the year that cyber warfare became an indisputable reality. We’ve had the ability to wage it for a while and there have been cyber skirmishes for some time. But it will rise in the ranks of pressing major international diplomatic issues from now on.
“Besides wreaking havoc on diplomacy, the amount of hacking of government agencies and major government contractors worldwide this year heralds private and personal problems as well. With so many data breaches, it’s safe to assume that a quite a lot of private data has been leaked. This high-quality information could be used for blackmail, illegal gains and even sold to terrorists.”
Russia and China – two states accused of being lead sponsors of illicit online activity, are both attending the conference.