Feeds

Experts: Firms need to come clean about cyber attacks

Dutch counter-terrorism head says gov was last to know on DigiNotar hack

Security for virtualized datacentres

LCC Businesses need to ‘fess up when they’ve been the victims of cyber attacks, experts at the London Conference on Cyberspace (LCC) said today.

Government and biz bosses said that even though companies didn’t really want to own up to having been breached, they needed to start sharing information with officials to protect critical infrastructures.

Erik Akerboom, president of the Cyber Security Council in the Netherlands, said that his government needed to know about the DigiNotar hack when it happened, not later on.

“We needed information at the time that DigiNotar was hacked; it was hacked in June but we didn’t find out then,” he said.

Digital certificate firm DigiNotar was hacked in June this year and forged Google.com SSL credentials were then used to spy on 300,000 Iranian internet users. The incident was notorious over the summer when it was discovered that the firm’s security was wholly inadequate, and because it took so long for the company to come clean.

DigiNotar only started to revoke certificates in mid-July, and didn’t go public with the security issue until August. The company subsequently filed for bankruptcy, having lost all the trust its business relied upon.

Akerboom said that the Netherlands was considering making it compulsory for firms to inform the government when their networks were attacked, but the government would then keep the information confidential to protect the companies' business.

Matthew Kirk, group external affairs director at Vodafone, said it would be tough to make businesses disclose attacks without a better trust relationship between companies and governments.

“Our instinct as a company is much more self-regulation rather than compulsory on almost everything. But I think there’s a critical role for government, which is not so much compulsion but creating... trust,” he said.

“I think it needs to be done in an atmosphere where it’s actually in the companies’ interest to disclose,” he added.

Harry van Dorenmalen, chairman of IBM Europe and also a member of the National Security Council in the Netherlands, was more forceful about what should be expected of the private sector.

“I think the private sector in general needs to step up much more than they do,” he said, adding that if businesses found it difficult to go to the government individually, they should consider presenting issues to the government through business groups.

“That’s an appeal to the private sector to step up, be vocal and be connected,” he said. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.