Cyber wrap
6 May 2015|

The cyber wrap is back after ICPC’s short break attending the Global Conference on Cyberspace in The Hague. Stay tuned for a series of blogs about the event soon, but in the meantime you can check out the GCCS YouTube page for all best bits.

Estonia knows all too well the impact of a large-scale cyber attack and has begun to assemble a ‘volunteer army’ of civilians who are willing and able to help defend the country in the event of a large-scale attack. The unit—a component of the Estonian Defence League—is a reserve force of civilians with the appropriate technical skills who can be called on during a national emergency to help protect the country’s infrastructure. It’s an idea that’s been embraced in several countries, including the US; the Estonian decision looks set to encourage more countries to follow suit.

Taiwan in about to carry out five days’ worth of ‘computer-assisted war games’. The drills constitute stage one of Taiwan’s annual Han Kuang exercises and will simulate cyber attacks against Taiwanese targets along with electronic warfare. The drills will also incorporate scenarios where the military will lend assistance to ‘outlying countries’. The announcement of the drills is hardly surprising given Taiwan’s recent troubles in cyberspace.

Cybercrime cooperation was at the top of the agenda during a recent Japanese trade mission to India led by Yoichi Miyazawa, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry. The talks explored which Japanese technologies could be utilised to help India prevent cybercrime and cyber espionage and maintain the security of government cloud-computing. Reassuringly, the talks also focused on the need not to just possess the technologies necessary to catch cyber criminals, but the need to implement the appropriate legislative structures and enforcement powers to apprehend and prosecute offenders.

Governments worldwide are dealing with IT security skills shortages, often in competition with larger, well-resourced private sector players. But the UK’s GCHQ has decided to fight back. The SIGINT agency has placed large advertising outside the NCC Group’s offices promoting a government career switch, no doubt targeting the information security firm’s highly skilled workforce. But the move may have backfired with the NCC Chief commenting to the media, ‘Our lot just looked at it and said they wouldn’t work for that small amount of money, but by the way, why don’t we just put some advertising outside their offices?’ No word yet if NCC has followed through on the suggestion.

Internet connections in developing countries can be notoriously unreliable. Vietnam has had more than its fair share of issues, experiencing seven submarine cable breakages since 2011. Each time the AAG cable off the coast of Vung Tau has broken, it’s seriously impacted the countries internet capacity. The most recent break two weeks ago was the straw that broke the camel’s back, with the government announcing they will build a new overland cable to China. The announcement is interesting given Hanoi’s current frosty relationship with Beijing over the South China/East Vietnam Sea and China’s propensity to target Vietnam’s online infrastructure when tensions hit their peak.