Olympic Games not immune to cyber attacks, says Maude

By Sooraj Shah
03 May 2012 View Comments
London Olympics Stadium

This year's Olympics "will not be immune to cyber attacks by those who would seek to disrupt the Games," Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has warned.

Speaking at a conference in Estonia, Maude said that in light of the 12 million cyber security incidents found at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the London Games will have a specialist team in place to protect its computer networks.

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"We have rightly been preparing for some time a dedicated unit which will help guard the London Olympics against cyber attack. We are determined to have a safe and secure Games," he said.

But while Maude believes the Games represent a prime target for cyber attackers, the CIO of Heathrow Airport, Philip Langsdale, would take any 2012-related threats in its stride.

"We've looked into [the Olympics] and the threats are no more different in nature to the day-to-day security challenges we have at the airport," Langsdale told Computing.

In his speech, Maude said that UK government networks are regularly targeted by foreign intelligence agencies, or groups working on their behalf, and that the government has to work constantly to ensure that its security solutions are up to date.

"High-end cyber security solutions that were used 18 months ago by a limited number of organisations to protect their networks may [now] be out in the open marketplace – giving cyber criminals the knowledge to get round these protective measures.

"Our responses have to be fast and flexible. What works one day is unlikely to work a matter of months or even weeks later," he added.

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