UK security expert calls for ‘global cyber police force’

A leading security expert in the UK has called for a ‘global cyber police force’ in the midst of the WannaCry ransomware attack. With more than 200,000 victims in 150 countries, security experts have been calling on governments around the world to take cyber security more seriously.

Mark Skilton, of Warwick Business School, believes a worldwide online watchdog needs to be established in order to prevent ‘potentially fatal’ attacks. "This attack has shown there needs to be a ‘cyber police force’ at a global level to help manage these escalating threats with the right level of specialist skills, and not just vendors sorting it out for themselves,” he said. "With Microsoft, as well as many other vendors and cyber response agencies, citing a 75 per cent increase in user expectation to be cyber-attacked in the next 12 months, this attack has just gone to the ‘next level’.

"Ransomware is the third generation next development after Denial of Service (DOS) and data breach theft, to not only enter computers, but inflict psychological and financial loss at the same time.

He added: "My research has found a need for a global legal system to govern the internet as its activity is unseen and spreads across geographic and commercial jurisdictions. While we all carry the liability, we have little protection to tackle what is now open full scale war with the criminals.” 

Skilton is not the only industry expert calling for greater controls. Last week, Microsoft president Brad Smith slammed governments around the world over their inadequate cyber defence policies. “The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call,” Smith wrote on the company’s blog. “We need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits. An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen.”

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