Sophos heralds new cyber warfare era

Sophos also asked users what respondents would think if a country hacked into a private foreign company for economic gain, as highlighted by the recent attacks on Google, allegedly stemming from China, otherwise known as Operation Aurora.

Almost a third said it was acceptable, with nine per cent happy for it to happen at anytime and 23 per cent agreeing with it only in wartime.

"It seems a very strange green light to give countries to do that. I think these people might be thinking, it would be great if MI5 or MI6 did that'," Cluley said.

"But if you do it in one direction, you can be pretty darn sure it's going to come in the other direction as well."

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.