10 Jun 2011

EU Computer Emergency Response Team created while hackers arrested in Spain

While computer experts from NATO states meet in Tallinn, Estonia, this week for a conference on cyber security, the European Commission today announced the establishment of a Computer Emergency Response pre-configuration Team (CERT) to oversee security for EU institutions.

The concept of an EU-wide CERT was proposed in the 2010 Digital Agenda for Europe document, and a team of four experts was commissioned to advise on the establishment of the team.

IT experts from EU institutions will make up the pre-configuration CERT, which will undertake preparatory work for a year’s time. After that, decisions will be made regarding how to move forward with a permanent team.

In a press release, Maroš Šef?ovi?, vice-president of the European Commission for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration, said that cooperation between member states has become essential in order to thwart and respond to cyberattacks.

The European Commission announcement comes on the same day three members of the hacker group Anonymous were arrested in Spain. Anonymous is believed to be responsible for hacks of multinational corporations such as Sony and official government sites of countries including Iran and Libya.

Underscoring the need for international coordination on the internet security front, John D’Arcy, assistant professor of information-technology management at the University of Notre Dame, told Bloomberg News that because Anonymous members are located around the globe, the arrests in Spain will probably not affect the group’s activity.