Ireland’s cybercrime strategy ‘rudderless’

By Pádraig Hoare

The body tasked with overseeing cybersecurity for the Government has issued a public warning that some websites are being used to illegally mine cryptocurrencies.

The National Cyber Security Centre said it was “aware that a number of websites using software from a third-party vendor is causing visitors to those sites to mine cryptocurrency without their express permission”.

Fianna Fáil technology spokesman James Lawless

The NCSC said there were “no indications at this stage” that members of the public are at risk.

It said it has advised government departments and agencies, as well as critical national infrastructure providers, of the threats and that it outlined steps to prevent similar incidents.

“The NCSC will continue to monitor developments in relation to this matter,” it said.

Fianna Fáil technology spokesman James Lawless said the fraud showed the country is falling behind in its efforts to protect itself from cybercriminals and State-sponsored cyberwarfare.

“The Government isn’t treating cybersecurity with the seriousness that it deserves. Ireland’s cybersecurity capabilities are woefully inadequate,” he said.

Mr Lawless claimed the NCSC is “grossly under-resourced and it is unable to carry out the task that it was established to do”.

“The NCSC strategy expired last year and we are still waiting for a replacement. Ireland’s cybersecurity strategy is rudderless and lacking in direction.”

He said “tens of thousands of jobs were at stake” if foreign direct investment did not have confidence in Irish cybersecurity measures.

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