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The Commission said that the plan was a response to the increasing severity of attacks.

"The number of attacks against information systems has increased significantly in the last few years and a number of attacks of previously unknown large and dangerous scale have been observed, such as those in Estonia and Lithuania in 2007 and 2008 respectively. In March 2009, computer systems of government and private organisations of 103 countries (including a number of Member States, such as Cyprus, Germany, Latvia, Malta, Portugal and Romania) were attacked by malware installed to extract sensitive and classified documents," it said.

"More recently the world witnessed the spread of a botnet called 'Conficker' (also known as Downup, Downadup and Kido), which has propagated and acted in an unprecedented scale and scope since November 2008, affecting millions of computers worldwide. Inside the EU, damages from this botnet were reported in France, the UK and Germany. French fighter planes were unable to take off after military computers were infected by Conficker in January 2009," it said.

See: Details of the proposal

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