Computer Crime Research Center


EU lacks legislation to police cyber crime

Date: February 12, 2008

Europe plays host to a number of “well-known” internet sites run by terrorist groups, but has taken “no action” to combat them, Russia’s ambassador to the EU has said.

Speaking on Monday at conference organised by the Brussels think-tank security and defence agenda, Vladimir Chizhov described existing national and international legislation on cyber security as “nascent”, and said this weakens a possible global response to the problem.

“There are notorious sites that have survived several crackdowns…and have risen again in other countries, including European countries.”

Cyber crime and Europe’s response to it is still an “open book”, according to Richard Troy, a policy officer at the commission’s cyber crime unit.

“It’s hard to know whether you’re winning or losing when you don’t know how long the race is,” he said.

Last year, the commission announced the creation of the European security research and innovation forum (ESRIF), which aims to bring public and private expertise together to lay the ground for a security research agenda.

There is also a council of Europe convention on cyber crime, which aims to coordinate international responses to cyber attacks. It remains unsigned by 14 out of the 27 EU member states.

Estonia, one of the EU’s most prolific users of the internet, was targeted by denial-of-service attacks over a period of weeks last April and May, after a Soviet Red Army war memorial in Tallinn was moved.

Estonian defence minister Jaak Aaviksoo accused Moscow of being linked to the attacks, and said that help promised from Russia to apprehend the criminals had not been forthcoming.

“These attacks have correlations with the relocation of the Soviet war memorial and events taking place around the Estonian embassy in Moscow,” he told the cyber security conference.

“All the attacks took place according to Moscow time.”

But, he added, they have found no smoking gun. “There are no fingerprints or footprints in cyberspace.”

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