Europe’s Digital Commissioner, Gunther H-dot Oettinger, says we are all far too laissez-faire with our passwords.
Oetti made the comments to German weekly Welt am Sonntag after hacked French telly-box channel TV5Monde exposed its passwords on air one day after being shut down by an ISIS cyberattack.
Never one to miss a chance to push policy, Oettinger also suggested that the proposed Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive could have averted the hack in the first place.
Negotiations are under way between national ministers, the European Parliament and the Commission about the planned law. One of the sticking points has been which types of companies should be subject to a mandatory reporting rule.
“How many attacks go undetected? Was this [the TV5Monde attack] the first attack in Europe?” asked Oettinger. The gaffe-prone Commissioner is concerned that failures to detect and report cyber-attacks mean that hackers can use the same method “two, three, or even four times”.
“A well-organised exchange of information between member states on cyber-attacks and IT security vulnerabilities can significantly improve our safety level,” Oettinger said.
Meanwhile, Justice Commissioner Vera Jourová is in Berlin this week to discuss the ongoing data protection reform. She will meet Justice and Consumer Protection Minister Heiko Maas.
If, however, as Oettinger suggests, TV channels make our passwords open to all and sundry, no amount of data protection or breach notifications will help. ®