A European Union home affairs commissioner has expressed concern over the distributed denial-of-service attacks launched against whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks this week, stating that they provide a perfect example of why upcoming legislation is needed to criminalise the tools which enable cyber attacks.
Cecilia Malmström told a press conference that the attacks also prove the necessity of a 24-hour alert system for people to flag up attacks, according to a report on EUObserver.com.
"I note that the European Commission has proposed to criminalise the botnets, viruses and [malware] which were apparently used to attack WikiLeaks,"Malmström is reported as saying.
"The EC has no means to protect people from [state-sponsored attacks], but we propose a centre for cyber crime to bolster expertise-sharing among member states."
Malmström argued in a blog post (Google translation) earlier this week that the attack on WikiLeaks echo those launched against Estonia and Lithuania in 2007.
"This time it was WikiLeaks. Next time, the target may be the Swedish stock exchange, a nuclear plant or a sensitive patient record at a hospital," she said.
The EU announced in October that it will strengthen its cyber crime response capabilities by giving greater powers to the European Network and Information Security Agency (Enisa).
Digital Agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes said that the proposals would mean extending Enisa's mandate to 2017, and broadening its remit "to give it the greater flexibility and capability required to address growing cyber threats".
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