The switch to IPv6 will cause difficulties for law enforcement agencies by opening up billions of domain names and IP addresses, according to a senior manager at the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca).
Gary Kibbey, a senior manager on cyber crime at Soca, said at a Westminster Forum event on Thursday that the rise in available addresses will make it more important for all internet stakeholders to take a stand against criminals.
"IPv6 is going to make things very complicated by offering an almost limitless supply of IP addresses, so internet service providers will need to keep control of rogue elements that will look to exploit this," he said.
Kibbey added that tackling crime will also be hampered by the rising number of criminals exploiting internet users, the lack of good Whois information, and the challenges of enforcement against criminals operating outside the UK's authority.
"We are seeing the bar being lowered as less experienced criminals obtain malware and learn how to use it from online tutorials, while 30 per cent of all Whois domain registration information is of no value whatsoever," he said.
"Soca is doing a lot of work on the international co-operation required in this space as cyber crime brings a lot of unique challenges as we have to track people through nations across the world."
Despite these risks, Kibbey believes that Soca is getting the necessary support from government to fight back against cyber crime.
"Cyber security and cyber crime have been raised to the highest level of government. It is one area where the government has put money in to fight back, and we are certainly in a position of having the criminals on the back foot," he said.
Lesley Cowley, chief executive of Nominet, said earlier that the internet is entering a new era of governance as more stakeholders, including governments, look to shape new policies in their interests.
"The importance of the internet to the economy and the social fabric of nations means that there are increasing calls from governments on its regulation. Governments increasingly expect to be able to shape regulation on the more harmful aspects of the web," she said.
Symantec said in a report published on Wednesday that the global cost of cyber crime to the world's economy is an estimated $338bn, more than the combined worldwide sales of heroin, cocaine and marijuana, underlining the scale of the problem.
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