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Counter-terrorism chief warns of growing cyber threat in Olympics run-up

03 Jul 2012

The nature of the cyber threats facing UK industry is evolving and becoming more dangerous in the run-up to the Olympics, according to the UK Home Office.

Speaking at the National Security 2012 conference in London, the Home Office's Security and Counter-Terrorism department director Richard Clarke warned the risks from online attacks were growing in tandem with the terrorist threat facing the UK.

"No doubt the threat is being spread across a wider area than ever before. But you don't need many people to mount a threat to the UK," said Clarke.

Clarke said that in response to the threat facing the Olympics, the UK has conducted the largest security operation in two decades.

"London 2012 is the biggest peace time security endevour in the last 20 years," he said.

"People are starting to realise the sheer scale and I think it's staggering to see the amount of work that has been done."

The security operation was made even more difficult because of the increasing use of IT, which terrorists have become adept at using to plan attacks. Crooks have also woken up to the value of data and the relative ease with which it can be obtained, Clarke added.

Clarke's comments follow on from warnings by numerous other government and security firms that cyber attacks are becoming more dangerous.

MI5 director general Jonathan Evans similarly warned that the threat cyber attacks pose to Britain is increasing, during a speech in June.

Prior to Evans' speech, F-Secure security chief Mikko Hypponen issued a similar warning, highlighting the recently uncovered Flame Trojan as proof that governments and companies must create new, more effective defence measures.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

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