UK computer systems will be hit by political, military, economic and technical espionage in 2008. That's the warning from McAfee, which also says that US and German IT will be targeted, and that cyber-spying will be the biggest security threat of next year. James Bond's a geek - who knew?

According to McAfee, next year will also witness an increasing threat to online banking, VoIP calls and social networking sites. Spies going after Facebook? Is nothing sacred? Completing its doom-laden Mystic Meg-ism, McAfee thinks that malware will become increasingly complex and resilient in 2008. Which will at least keep it busy.

McAfee's report suggests that China is in pole position to be the top technology country over the next 10 to 20 years. Mind you, there are 120 countries expected to be competing for cyber supremacy. It should be quite the battle for silver and bronze.

Mystic McAfee also reckons that tech crime has moved on from going after individuals and business, and has now turned it's evil antennae to national security. It even suggests that governments could soon be involved in the messy business of using the internet to attack their neighbours. (Not unlike, say, Russia spamming Estonia - to make a completely random selection.)

"There are signs that intelligence agencies around the world are constantly probing other governments' networks looking for strengths and weaknesses," said the LSE's Peter Sommer, who was one of the report's authors.

And, naturally, McAfee agrees: "Global cybercrime is a major problem costing businesses and consumers billions a year, and the wider use of technology in developing countries only further opens the window of opportunity for evildoers," Dave DeWalt, president and chief executive at McAfee, told ComputerWeekly.

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