Tech firms sign pledge not to aid governments wage cyber attacks



Thirty-four global technology companies and organizations, including Facebook, Oracle, Nokia on Tuesday announced a joint pledge not to assist any government in offensive cyber attacks.

"The devastating attacks from the past year demonstrate that cybersecurity is not just about what any single company can do but also about what we can all do together," said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, in a statement endorsed by some US firms and global Tech giants.

The Cybersecurity Tech Accord, which vows to protect all customers from attacks regardless of geopolitical or criminal motive, follows a year that witnessed an unprecedented level of destructive cyber attacks, including the global WannaCry worm and the devastating NotPetya attack.

The companies made a commitment to mount a stronger defense against cyber attacks, "recognizing that everyone deserves protection ... regardless of the motivation for attacks online," the statement said.

The accord also promised to establish new formal and informal partnerships within the industry and with security researchers to share threats and coordinate vulnerability disclosures.

"The real world consequences of cyber threats have been repeatedly proven. As an industry, we must band together to fight cybercriminals and stop future attacks from causing even more damage," said Kevin Simzer, the chief operating officer at the security firm Trend Micro.

According to the statement, economic losses expected from cyber attacks are likely to reach eight trillion US dollars by 2022, impacting services ranging from small businesses to hospitals.

The signatories included ABB, Arm Holdings, Cisco, Dell, HP, HPE, LinkedIn. But companies like Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, and Twitter did not show up on the list.

Companies that signed the accord plan to hold their first meeting during the security-focused RSA Conference this week in San Francisco.