LONDON (Reuters) - A "cyber cold war" waged over the world's computers threatens to become one of the biggest threats to security in the next decade, according to a report published on Thursday.
About 120 countries are developing ways to use the Internet as a weapon to target financial markets, government computer systems and utilities, Internet security company McAfee said in an annual report.
Intelligence agencies already routinely test other states' networks looking for weaknesses and their techniques are growing more sophisticated every year, it said.
Governments must urgently shore up their defenses against industrial espionage and attacks on infrastructure.
"Cybercrime is now a global issue," said Jeff Green, senior vice president of McAfee Avert Labs. "It has evolved significantly and is no longer just a threat to industry and individuals but increasingly to national security."
The report said China is at the forefront of the cyber war. It said China has been blamed for attacks in the United States, India and Germany. China has repeatedly denied such claims.
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