EU institutions set up CERT team to fight cyber attacks
The EU’s 27 member states have agreed to impose tougher punishments for cyber criminals.
Under the new rules, cyber criminals could face a sentence of at least five years if found guilty. The new rules also cover attacks through botnets as well as illegal interception of data.
The new rules will have to be agreed by the European Parliament before being put into practice.
EU countries have also decided to build a new cybercrime unit which will work with Europol.
Hungary’s Justice and Public Administration Minister Tibor Navracsics said, "We will be able to take steps in the future based on that broad support from member states."
Meanwhile, the EU institutions have created a Computer Emergency Response pre-configuration Team (CERT) to fight cyber attacks.
The CERT team is made up of IT security experts from the EU institutions, which comprise seven bodies, including the European Parliament and the European Council.
The European Commission for the Digital Agenda vice-president Neelie Kroes said, "Cyber attacks are a very real and ever-increasing threat. Whether aimed at individual countries, companies or most recently the European Commission, they can paralyse key infrastructure and cause long-term damage.
"Setting up this CERT pre-configuration team is a further demonstration of how seriously the EU institutions take the cyber security threat."
According to the Digital Agenda, all EU members are required to establish their own CERTs by 2012.