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BizReport : Law & Regulation : July 30, 2013

Complacency makes U.K. easy target for cyber criminals

There's a reason why the U.K. is being targeted by online criminals from 25 countries, according to the country's Home Affairs Select Committee - complacency.

by Helen Leggatt

The Committee, comprising members of parliament, is recommending tougher penalties and improved police training to fight the war on online criminal activity, according to reports out today.

The U.K. is viewed as an easy target for online criminals due to complacency and a lack of sufficient funding and resources. The Committee was advised that the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau had discovered about 25 countries, including some in the EU, that are predominantly targeting the U.K.

The crimes, including identity theft, credit card fraud, child exploitation, and industrial espionage, are rife and, says the Committee chair, Keith Vaz MP, the U.K. is at serious risk of a full-on cyber attack - more so than a nuclear attack.

"You can steal more on the internet than you can by robbing a bank and online criminals in 25 countries have chosen the U.K. as their number one target," said Vaz. "Astonishingly, some are operating from EU countries. If we don't have a 21st century response to this 21st century crime, we will be letting those involved in these gangs off the hook."

The news follows U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron's recent threat to bring in tough new laws aimed at Internet companies that fail to blacklist key search terms for disturbing images by October this year, as part of a wider crackdown on Internet pornography.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: cyber crime, cybercriminals, E.U., law, online fraud, U.K.

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