Blunkett Warns Of 2012 Olympics Cyber Threat

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But securing the London Games well could give the UK a reputation as a secure place to do online business, says the former Home Secretary

The Olympic Games could be under attack, fomer home secretary David Blunkett will warn at tomorrow’s Infosec event in London.

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The main dangers will be fraud on Olympic visitors, including tickets, transport and other bookings, the MP for Sheffield Brightside will tell the delegates to the London event, according to widely circulating copies of his speech. But he believes that there is an opportunity here, for Britain to demonstrate security expertise to the world.

“A sophisticated attack of this sort would be economically and commercially devastating, but the ability to block it exists and could demonstrate that Britain is the best and safest place for e-commerce in the world,” he will say. Good information security in 2012 would be a good preparation for the future, but problems would lower the UK’s standing.

“We need to put cyber alongside chemical, biological and radiological threats,” he will say, but will warn that three years is a tight deadline to meet.”We need to be ahead of those who would damage us rather than a step behind.”

Blunkett will warn of Britain’s low level of preparation for such attacks, and suggest a co-ordinated approach using multiple organisations. “The level of complacency from our own utilities is breathtaking. That is why urgent and decisive leadership from government in partnership with business and those with security expertise is urgently needed.”

“The one part of our economy is still bouyant is e-commerce, and it’s the one area where fraud is growing exponentially,” Blunkett warned earlier in a video interview, saying, “we need to be upping our game. I would like Britain to be the secure environmenbt for people to do e-business – being a world leader would put us into a very different position when we are coming out of the recession.”

Blunkett has argued that data loss should be countered by simple “common-sense” means, in a saying people need a “grasp of basic security measures, as they would with a filing cabinet in their home or office.”

He also defended the controversial ID card scheme which he initiated, saying it had been misunderstood: “I proposed a clean database with biometric identifiers. It could work as a universal passport.”

“Passports are actually not worth the paper they are printed on,” he said, because they are so easily forgeable. While people might enter false data into the ID card system, they could only do that once, he claimed: “They can try and misrepresent themselves once, but then that is the identity they have to stick with.”

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