‘e-criminals target 2012 Olympics’

LONDON:  International organised criminal networks are preparing to target the 2012 London Olympics with cyber attacks, London police chief said.

Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner Janet Williams said criminals may be preparing sophisticated electronic attacks on athlete protection arrangements, the transport infrastructure, sponsorship deals and ticketing. Similar conspiracies were witnessed during the Beijing Olympics and work is under way to protect next year’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Williams said.

“There is a lot of work to be done with e-crime and the Olympics,” she said. “First of all we need to get the money sorted and there is an imperative about that now. We know from Canada and Beijing that the threats are real and they have grown in the last six months.” She said criminal networks in recent months have targeted London hospitals, police forces and major private companies, including online retailers.

“Very recently we have had three London hospitals badly affected, that was identified as computer viruses overloading the systems,” she said. “We have had police forces who have lost considerable parts of their capability for considerable periods of time and we have had attacks that have stopped other public services.”