Gov’t Committee: Fraud and Cybercrime in the U.K. ‘Higher Threat than Nuclear Attack’

Aug. 5, 2013

The Home Affairs Committee, a select committee of the U.K. Parliament’s House of Commons, issued a scathing report about the state of cybercrime and online fraud in the country, calling them a bigger threat than a nuclear attack. The body’s first ever investigation into e-crime concluded that the U.K. is “not winning the war on online criminal activity.”

U.K. lawmakers decried the lack of reporting and investigation of fraud, noting the response usually ends after banks have reimbursed the victim. The committee said many criminals are committing a “high volume of low level fraud” that often is going unreported by banks. The committee’s report called for the formation of a dedicated “espionage response team” that can take immediate action when British companies, media, and institutions report attacks so that effective action can be taken.

“If we don’t have a 21st century response to this 21st century crime, we will be letting those involved in these gangs off the hook,” said Committee Chair Keith Vaz MP. “At the moment the law enforcement response to e-criminals is fractured and half of it is not even being put into the new National Crime Agency. We are being too complacent about these E-wars because the victims are hidden in cyberspace. The threat of a cyber attack to the U.K. is so serious it is marked as a higher threat than a nuclear attack.”