Albuquerque, New Mexico (PressExposure) March 07, 2011 -- Recently, French government confirmed reports of cyber-attacks on the country's finance, economy and unemployment ministry since December last year. The attacks were allegedly targeted at information related to France's presidency of Group 20 (G20) countries. Cybercriminals intruded into around 150 computer systems at the Ministry and gained unauthorized access to several confidential documents.
Computer systems and networks of government departments and ministries face frequent attacks from political hacktivists, organized cybercrime syndicates and foreign spy agencies. In this case, the attackers launched sustained attacks for over 2 months on the French ministry. The attack is reported to be the first cyber-attack of such magnitude on any French government body. Documents breached also included information on international economic affairs. The ministry is situated in Bercy, in 12th administrative division of Paris. Information security professionals are investigating the attack. Cyber-attacks are often traced to servers in China and Russia, but intelligence agencies find it difficult to establish state involvement in attacks. Cybercriminals may gain unauthorized control of computers based in different countries and use them for launching attacks on targeted agencies.
G20 economic bloc consists of nineteen nations from different regions of the world and the European Union (EU). Leakage of classified documents pertaining to national and international agencies may not only cause strategic loss, but also threaten the economic and national security of the concerned countries. The recent WikiLeaks exposure, attack on industrial installations across the world through Stuxnet worm, repeated attacks on websites of government and private companies by anonymous group, attack on Canadian government bodies and more recently on South Korean government sites highlight the imminent threats in the cyber space.
There is also a danger of countries using the cyberspace for information warfare against rival nations. The threat of corporate espionage and use of cyberspace by terrorists to disrupt critical infrastructural facilities also looms large. The vibrant threats emanating from the Internet require proactive action. Therefore, cyber education assumes high significance. Online computer degree and e-learning programs may help in creating cyber security awareness among employees.
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