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Nation “increasingly vulnerable” to cyber-attack
Cyberwarfare is now the greatest single threat to national security, according to a new threat assessment Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste (FE), the military intelligence agency.
Speaking in conjunction with the release of the 2012 Intelligence Risk Assessment, FE head Thomas Ahrenkiel said that as Denmark becomes more digitised, "we become more vulnerable.”
Ahrenkiel said that both the public and private sectors face near constant attempts to steal intellectual property, research or other sensitive information. Most of these attacks are handled via internal security measures. “But, there are also more serious and targeted attacks,” he said.
As an example, he cited a paralysing computer attack on the Business and Growth Ministry last spring. The attack, which did not succeed in obtaining any information, went after user names and passwords.
With the growing threat against the nation's computers, the Defence Ministry is expected to allocate significant resources to combating digital attacks.
A proposal currently being considered by parliament calls for the creation of a ‘Centre for Cyber-Security’ under the control of the Defence Ministry, and would have a budget of 35 million kroner above and beyond what the ministry has already requested.
The centre's funding would increase annually, reaching as much as 150 million kroner by 2017. The money would be used in part to create a computer operations centre with the capacity to implement defensive and offensive military operations in cyberspace.
Earlier this month, Denmark joined other EU countries in participating in an exercise that simulated a major DDoS attack. DDoS attacks flood sites with automated traffic causing a virtual traffic jam and rendering the site inaccessible for legitimate users. The technique is the preferred method of attack used by activist group Anonymous. The same group claimed responsibility for a DDos attack that shut down the website of trade union 3F earlier this year, although it is unlikely the group was involved.
In the report, FE pointed that even though cyberwarfare was the country's most pressing threat, the threat of terrorism had not subsided.