The secretary general of law enforcement organisation Interpol has warned that cyber crime could become the world's "most dangerous criminal threat".
Ronald K Noble sounded the warning during his opening address (PDF) at the first Interpol Information Security Conference in Hong Kong last week, adding the embarrassing revelation that cyber criminals had recently stolen his identity on Facebook in a bid to obtain sensitive information on Interpol cases.
"Just recently Interpol's Information Security Incident Response Team discovered two Facebook profiles attempting to assume my identity as Interpol's secretary general," he said.
"One of the impersonators was using this profile to obtain information on fugitives targeted during our recent Operation Infra Red."
Noble also highlighted the dangers of denial-of-service attacks on individuals and businesses, and warned that cyber terrorism is a very real threat.
"What is certain is that cyber crime is emerging as a very concrete threat. Considering the anonymity of cyber space, it may in fact be one of the most dangerous criminal threats ever," he said.
"As a result, countries increasingly realise that their digital infrastructure is a strategic national asset and decide to engage significant means to protect it."
Noble also revealed that Interpol is currently trialling an identity verification tool designed to enable Interpol law enforcers worldwide to identify themselves at international borders.
The e-Identification Card is being developed in partnership with Entrust and EDAPS.
Finally, there were heartening words from Noble for the information security industry, as he pointed out the central role he wants to see Interpol occupying in developing global information security standards.
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