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Blunkett warns of London Olympics cyber attack

'Devastating' attack could cripple Olympics IT

The 2012 Olympic Games in London could be crippled by "devastating" computer attacks unless the government takes action to ramp up the UK's cyber defences, according to former Home Secretary David Blunkett.

The Labour MP is due to give the opening keynote at London's Infosec security conference tomorrow and is expected to take aim at the UK's vulnerable computer and communications systems, blasting the government's "woeful level of awareness" of technology threats, according to reports.

Blunkett is expected to warn authorities that the increased use of computer systems to control different parts of the Olympics infrastructure means that various aspects of the London event could be targeted. These include communications channels, ticketing systems, the transport network and even hotel bookings.

David Blunkett cyber threat"Fraudsters and those seeking to hurt the economy and the Games themselves would have a substantial opportunity through duplication, hacking into information and, therefore, being in a position to disrupt facilities and commit theft of identity, credit cards and other personal data," he will say, according to the BBC.

Blunkett, home secretary under Tony Blair between 2001 and 2004, believes the Olympics are the perfect opportunity for the government to focus resources on bulking up the UK's cyber defences and will say that cyber attacks should be regarded alongside "chemical, biological and radiological threats" as the biggest risks to national security.

Infosec takes place at Earls Court, London, on 28 - 30 April.

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