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Government concern over hacking and viruses/virus list


Foreign secretary Robin Cook warned that hacking and computer viruses present a bigger threat to Britain than a military attack.

Robin Cook was speaking at the Open Intelligence and Security Debate at the House of Commons in London, last Thursday. The Debate was called to examine the role of the UK's secret intelligence agencies now that the Cold War is over.

Mr Cook said that ‘Computers now manage most of our critical national infrastructure but with these new opportunities there also comes the risk of new threats. A computer-based attack could cripple the nation more quickly than a military strike’.

Mr Cook reported that the government’s ‘National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre’(NISCC), is improving its ability to react in the event of electronic threat. The NISCC has been set up to protect Critical National Infrastructure within government departments and the private sector. This includes monitoring and increasing awareness of the threat, defending against it and responding to incidents. The system received criticism for its slow reaction to the ‘Love Bug’ virus attack of last year. Mr Cook pointed out that a national alert was issued within one hour of the Anna Kournikova virus hitting the UK.

TrainingZONE says: Are you prepared for viruses? As the virus vandals hot up their campaign, TrainingZONE asks if we should all be taking the situation a little more seriously?

Each virus seems to be potentially more deadly than its predecessors, we all hear of them, but maybe tend to treat them with the cavalier attitude many of us tend to adopt in life of ‘It’s something that happens to other people?’

How many of us truly consider how it would affect us if a virus hit our computer? Some of the things we could ask ourselves might be:

  • Have we backed up all vital files?
  • Do we scan all new files and documents as we are advised to?
  • Do we take sufficient care when using the Internet, or
  • when opening attachments to E-mails of unknown origins?

Perhaps it is time do some housekeeping with our computers to strengthen our security against potential hacking or viral infection. Preventative measures against the threat of a virus could save you from disaster, be alerted to the potential of a looming threat, be aware of what action to take both for protection and in the event of damage. There are many excellent anti virus software packages available, most new computers come loaded with anti virus software. However, it is advisable to be aware that this may not be sufficient alone. It may need updating or upgrading at the registered software website.

For information on the latest viruses released go to Top 12 -- Viruses For March 2001

If you would like more information on viruses, and anti virus software guides there are many excellent websites to be found by searching the Internet.

Comments or questions please to Kathleen Hopper


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