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Commission suggests tougher measures against cyber attacks

30 September 2010

EU Commissioners Cecilia Malmström and Neelie Kroes today presented two new proposals for Directives aiming to strengthen the EU's defences against cyber attacks. The proposals suggest that legislation should be made up to date, that criminal sanctions should be made tougher, that police cooperation should be intensified, that the mode of gathering statistics should be improved, and that the EU agency for IT Security, ENISA, should be strengthened and modernised.

During the joint press conference Neelie Kroes underlined that "the EU institutions and governments must work ever closer together, to help us understand the nature and scale of the new cyber treats".

"There is a clear increase in the number of cyber crimes – from attacks against countries like Estonia in 2007 to more of an every day illegal activity, where felonies such as credit card thefts, money transfers, identity thefts, and industrial espionage is carried out by a new type of criminals. By using so called botnets, criminals can take control of computers all over the world. These stories seem like science fiction, but they are unfortunately the reality of an increasingly lucrative business", said Cecilia Malmström.

The Directive proposals are a first step in strengthening the EU tools in meeting the cyber crime threats. In the action-oriented EU Internal Security Strategy that Cecilia Malmström is planning to put forward later this fall, the EU's work against cyber criminality will be an important component.

Read Cecilia Malmström's pdf - 72 KB [72 KB] Deutsch (de) français (fr) and Neelie Kroes' two proposals in full, watch today's press conference, and read more in the press release and in the two memos.