Europe needs protection against cyber attack

The European Commission has called for action in protecting EU communication networks from the threat of cyber attack and disruption.

It wants to protect electronic communication centres and networks - which it called the backbone of the European economy - from problems including natural disasters, terrorist attacks, malicious human action and hardware failure.

Viviane Reding, commissioner for information society and media, said in a statement that Europe needed to be engage citizens and public administrations in improving the security and resilience of Europe's information networks.

She said: "There must be no weak links in Europe's cybersecurity."

The EC said that at the moment, the security capabilities and approaches of member states varied widely. It said: "A low level of preparedness in one country can make others more vulnerable, while a lack of coordination reduces the effect of countermeasures."

The EC said it wanted businesses, public administrators and citizens to focus on issues such as preparedness and prevention, detection and response, mitigation and recovery, and international cooperation.

The full text of the statement is available on the EC website.

Recently, a report suspected that the Chinese government was hacking into networks around the world, which included government and private offices.