Ministers warn of growing cyber crime problem

By James Riches topicIcon Internet News

Committee fears UK failing to "keep pace" with online criminals

The UK must do more to prevent and tackle cyber crime, according to a cross-party Home Affairs Select Committee.

Chaired by Labour MP Keith Vaz, the committee's report indicates that recent cuts to police forces across the country mean there are now less resources to deal with a problem which is getting demonstrably worse.

Mr Vaz told the BBC that these shortcomings have seen the UK become a number one target for cyber criminals in 25 countries. Furthermore, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) suggested earlier this year that 80 per cent of these cases could be prevented through better online information management.

These findings come just a week after it was reported that many mobile phone SIM cards remain vulnerable to an attack that can be completed in around two minutes.

More EU cooperation encouraged to stop cyber attacks

The report claims a "state of the art espionage response team" is needed to deal with the issue, and urged the government to work in cooperation with fellow EU members to try and get one step ahead of the cyber criminals.

There has been plenty of criticism surrounding Britain's lack of collaboration with the EU on this issue, as the UK has opted not to implement many preventative measures used on the continent. However, the Select Committee report also mentioned that the UK's fellow EU member states should be doing more to stop their citizens targeting the country's internet users in this way.

While the government has yet to respond to this report's findings, there were already plans in place for a new National Cybercrime Unit to be brought in later this year to target the most serious offenders.

Daniel Nolan, managing director at theEword, said: "This is an issue that should interest everyone, as all internet users are vulnerable to cyber attacks. It's good that this report has drawn attention to the problem once again, but it's slightly unclear whether the government will have the resources to deal with it."