Thursday, February 10, 2011

OECD: Hi-tech cyber-attacks may have “catastrophic” global implications

Hi-tech cyber-attacksAccording to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), co-ordinated hi-tech attacks on critical computer systems have the potential to rake a perfect storm with "catastrophic" global implications.
The report, which largely dealt with the incidents that can create global disruption in the cyber arena, said that a multiple cyber-attacks, one after the other, may end up becoming "a full-scale global shock," similar to a pandemic or financial instability in the world.
Suggesting emergency plans for recovering affected computer systems and cyber-security policies pertaining to the needs of all citizens and not just central government facilities, the report said that the cyber-attacks generally cause problems that are localised and short-lived.
Noting that "What should concern policy-makers are combinations of events - two different cyber-events occurring at the same time, or a cyber-event taking place during some other form of disaster or attack. In that eventuality,
'perfect storm' conditions could exist," the report underscored that "few single foreseeable cyber-related events have the capacity to become a full-scale global shock."
The report further cautioned that governments should have plans in place for lessening the effects of deliberate as well as accidental events, co-author Professor Peter Sommer, of the London School of Economics, noted that the governments' planning for cyber protection was largely impeded by lurid language and poor analysis.

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