UK failing to combat cyber-crime effectively, MPs warn

Wednesday 31 July 2013

The UK is failing to win the war on e-crime, a new MPs report has claimed.

In a new report, the Home Affairs Committee has called for a "dedicated state-of-the-art espionage response team" to be established - to serve as a first point of contact should British companies come under attack.

It said there appears to be a "black hole" where e-crime is committed with impunity.

"Online criminal activity which defrauds victims of money is often not reported to or investigated by law enforcement," the MPs said.

"Banks simply reimburse the victims with no pursuit of the perpetrators. Criminals who commit a high volume of low-level fraud can still make huge profits."

The committee said the banks must be required to report all e-crime fraud to law enforcement - in order that an appropriate response can be made.

It added that it is still "too easy" for people to access inappropriate online content online, and there is "no excuse for complacency".

The MPs said service providers should take stronger action to remove content which breaches "acceptable standards".

Keith Vaz MP, chair of the Home Affairs Committee, commented that the UK is "not winning the war" on online criminal activity.

"We are being too complacent about these e-wars because the victims are hidden in cyberspace," he stated.

"The threat of a cyber-attack to the UK is so serious it is marked as a higher threat than a nuclear attack."

Mr Vaz said it is possible to steal more on the internet than by robbing a bank, and online criminals in 25 countries have chosen the UK as their "number one target".

"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," he added.

"At the moment the law enforcement response to e-criminals is fractured and half of it is not even being put into the new National Crime Agency."

Find out how Microsoft IT security solutions can guard your business against the effects of online crime.

Posted by Dan Smith