Clinton and Brits Confront Hacker Groups

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will join her United Kingdom counterparts at a cyberspace conference in London on Nov. 1, just days after British officials acknowledged they received international help in battling cybercrime -- and could use more of it.

On Oct. 28, the website of the U.K.'s Foreign and Commonwealth Office pointed to several high-profile cyber incidents with global consequences that foreign partners cooperated on to contain. The countries went after members of the Anonymous and LulzSec hacktivist groups, the culprits who infiltrated Sony's PlayStation Network to steal customer information; and intruders who targeted the websites of the CIA and U.K. Serious Organised Crime Agency.

"The nations affected by these criminal actions used their existing relationships to manage the threat," U.K. officials said. "Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) shared their understanding of the threat and mitigation plans, Law Enforcement agencies coordinated efforts to identify and prosecute those involved."

Hackers based in China and Russia have been implicated in other far-reaching breaches that went unmentioned. The two governments are widely believed to condone, if not sponsor, cyber espionage. And yet, they, along with nearly every other country, lose billions of dollars to online fraud each year.

The post hints at the need for even cyberspies to collaborate in fighting cybercrime.

"Dealing with the criminal actions of so-called hacktivist groups earlier this year demonstrated how nations could work together to ensure cyberattacks do not become a source of international tension," U.K. officials said.