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ITU targets cyber warfare

Cyber security and environment dominate ITU Telecom World event in Geneva

ITU targets cyber warfare
Dr Hamadoun Touré, secretary-general of the ITU, said the next world war is likely to be fought in cyberspace.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is focusing on issues that have major implications for global security, including the threat of cyber warfare and global warming, at the Telecom World event in Geneva.

Speaking to CommsMEA on the eve of the event Dr Hamadoun Touré, secretary-general of the ITU, said the ICT sector must focus on overcoming the challenges posed by cyber security, global warming and the financial crisis.

But Touré highlighted cyber crime, and the threat of all-out cyber warfare, as one of the biggest potential threats to global security, and stressed that that the ICT industry has a key role in preventing such attacks.

"One can easily guess that the next world war will be in cyberspace, and we have to avoid that," Touré said.

"We know that the best way to win a war is to avoid it in the first place, and knowing the level of linkage that we have with ICT today, a cyber war will be a catastrophe for all of us."

To avoid such a threat, Touré said the ITU is committed to developing an international framework to shore up cyber security and ensure governments agree not to launch cyber attacks on other countries.

Touré, who started putting together a 'cyber security framework' after becoming secretary general of the ITU in 2006, said that the organisation intends to encourage all countries to commit to an international framework to defend their citizens, convict cyber criminals and commit that they "will not attack another country first."

"In terms of cyber security it is important that we put together an international framework because the criminals might not necessarily be on the crime scene," he said.

"The criminal knows no borders in cyberspace and therefore only an organization like the ITU is capable of brokering an international deal, as we have done in the past."

Telecom World, which is staged by the ITU every four years, gathers government ministers, regulators, operators and vendors to discuss ICT policy and how the sector can address various global challenges.

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