Press Notice: Cyber Attacks

House of Lords Press Release
Embargo: Immediate Wednesday 21 October 2009
Contact: Laura Llewelyn 020 7219 8716


The EU Sub-Committee on Home Affairs is launching a new inquiry into EU policy on protecting Europe from large scale cyber-attacks.

When the European Commission published its Communication on protecting Europe from large scale cyber-attacks it highlighted many concerns about the adequacy of protective and responsive infrastructure regarding cyber-attacks. The Committee want to look into the recommendations made by the Commission to ascertain if they are either realistic or appropriate given current international standards and systems.

The inquiry will focus on what the proper roles are for the EU and its Member States in terms of enhancing governance, ensuring a strong EU wide incidence response capability, and bridging gaps in national policies for security of critical systems The importance of the issue is heightened by the fact that many of the critical systems involved are no longer operated by public bodies but privately.

The issue is of relevance due to cyber-attacks in recent years on Estonia and Georgia and because of international concern about the risk of large scale cyber-attacks. Cyber-attacks are growing in sophistication and frequency, and it is important that subsequent risks are understood and sufficiently analysed.

The Committee is keen to receive written evidence on this issue from any interested parties. The deadline for the submission of written evidence is 13 November 2009.

In particular, the Committee is asking for evidence along the following lines:

  • How vulnerable is the Internet to wide-spread technical failures?
  • Is the Internet industry doing enough to ensure the resilience and stability of the Internet or is regulatory intervention unavoidable?
  • Is the EU Commission's concern about cyber-attacks justified and should the military be more involved in protecting the internet?
  • Are Government operated Computer Emergency Response Teams an appropriate mechanism for dealing with Internet incidents?
  • Is it sensible to develop European-centric approaches to response infrastructure or should there be more emphasis on a worldwide approach?

Notes to Editors

  1. The Committee welcome the submission of written evidence from all interested parties. The deadline for the submission of written evidence is Friday 13 November 2009.
  2. Full details of the Committee's inquiry including the full Call for Evidence and details of where and how to submit evidence can be found here: