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 Thursday, 6th August 2009, 16:15:00

Hackers 'can hit people and companies financially'

Hackers 'can hit people and companies financially'

Firms that have their networks infiltrated by hackers could find that they lose out financially, an expert has warned.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at security software developer Sophos, said there are a number of serious risks posed by hackers.

He noted that many hackers who are "in it for the cash" are the ones that IT professionals spend a great deal of time trying to thwart.

Despite this, Mr Cluley said there is a common perception that hacking a "victimless crime" because it is perpetrated through a computer.

"Breaking into someone else's computer, stealing information - these are serious crimes and people can be financially hit as a result of it," he commented.

The expert asserted that hackers who commit these sorts of crimes need to be caught and imprisoned as they pose a "serious problem".

This comes after the high court ruled to extradite hacker Gary McKinnon to the US seven years after he broke into systems belonging to the US Army, US Navy, US Airforce, Department of Defense and Nasa.

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