MÁLAGA (Spain), Nov 29 — Google opened its largest cybersecurity centre in Europe today, warning that cyberattacks were becoming increasingly common and risked disrupting political systems.

The Silicon Valley firm said it opened the new centre in the southern Spanish city of Malaga after a year of conversations with policy makers.

Both the European Union and Google have warned that the war in Ukraine showed how cyber tools could be used to destabilise democracy.

Kent Walker, Google’s global affairs chief, told reporters cyberattacks had risen by 38 per cent last year and were becoming “increasingly aggressive”.

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“We need to work together at international scale,” to combat the threat, he said.

European Parliament vice president Dita Charanzova said in a video address that an estimated 230,000 pieces of malicious software were being downloaded every day.

“We have no doubt that European elections will become a target for disinformation and cyber interference,” she said.

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Google, which already has cybersecurity centres in Munich and Dublin, said its Malaga site would house experts building tools to combat cyber threats.

It would also help to train government officials, companies and NGOs.

The firm has spent years building up its cybersecurity armoury.

It acquired Malaga-based startup VirusTotal a decade ago and the firm now boasts one of the world’s largest malware databases.

Last year, it bought American cybersecurity firm Mandiant for more than US$5 billion (RM23 billion), one of its biggest acquisitions. — AFP