The government has announced it is to create a new cybercrime partnership, bringing together police, security experts and academics, in an effort to tackle the threat of organised online criminals.
The Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership was unveiled by security minister James Brokenshire during a speech to the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.
Brokenshire, who is best known for closing the UK Forensic Science Service, argued that the public were blissfully unaware of the true nature of cybercrime today.
“'For too long the public's perception of cyber crime has been lone bedroom hackers stealing money from a bank account,” he said.
“But the reality is that cyber criminals are organised and global, with a new breed of criminals selling 'off-the-shelf' software to aid gangs in exploiting the public.”
Outlining the government's cutting-edge approach to fighting the sophisticated gangs of online crooks, Brokenshire advised users to utilise strong passwords.
“Simple steps, such as setting strong passwords and using up-to-date virus software, can reduce the risk of becoming a victim,” he added.
Brokenshire's comments come amid heightened concerns over security, following a number of high-profile security breaches at firms including Apple, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook.
These breaches were seemingly successful by using zero-day exploits to download malware onto victims' machines via infected websites. Neither strong passwords nor up-to-date antivirus software would have prevented the attacks from succeeding.
Nonetheless, there are many security vendors keen to ensure that their bread and butter revenues are not affected by changes in public perception.
Trend Micro's chief technology officer, Raimund Genes, recently told V3 that Russian cyber mobsters represented a far greater security threat than Chinese state-sponsored hackers.
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