McAfee warns of imminent cyber warfare

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McAfee warns of imminent cyber warfare

Urges public and private sectors to share.

Security giant McAfee has published a new report urging public and private sector organisations to collaborate more effectively to ensure that critical national infrastructures are able to withstand any future cyber warfare attacks.

The firm's fifth annual Virtual Criminology Report argued that the industry needs an accurate definition of cyber warfare in order to differentiate attacks launched by disaffected hobbyists from large scale state-sponsored warfare.

This definition should be dependent on the source of the attack, the motivation, the scale and the level of sophistication, according to McAfee's principal security analyst for Europe, Greg Day.

"As a term it is almost overused. We have to define a framework for what can be called cyber warfare so that the private sector and governments can understand the problem," he said.

"The reality is that the scope of the problem is likely to increase as we all become more reliant on technology."

Day argued that, because much of a country's critical national infrastructure is run by the private sector, it is vital that government and private organisations maintain a close dialogue about the proactive measures and precautions that should be taken.

The security expert warned that cyber warfare is likely to escalate in the future because it is cheaper, easier and less bloody than the real thing.

"A while ago the US deputy general attorney spoke about a cyber Pearl Harbour. Unless we define the problem there probably will be one. It's a massive wake-up call for us all," he said.

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