Calling all would-be cyber crime fighters

Calling all would-be cyber crime fighters

SINGAPORE - A new facility is being set up to groom young talent to counter the threat of cyber crime.

The Advanced Cyber Security Training Facility will be ready next year, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli announced on Tuesday.

It is the latest collaboration between the Singapore Infocomm Technology Security Authority and Temasek Polytechnic.

The facility aims to breed the next generation of cyber security professionals, with a programme honing technical skills through realistic hands-on training.

The initiative is part of a concerted effort to expand a niche local pool of cyber security experts, given the challenging cyber threat landscape.

Mr Masagos was speaking on Tuesday at the GovernmentWare 2013 Conference and Exhibition held at Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre. The theme for this year's GovWare, organised by the Ministry of Home Affairs, is "Defining The Next Generation Cyber Defence Strategies".

Now in its 22nd year, the event is a platform where public and private sectors come together to foster the close collaboration essential to addressing IT security challenges faced by the world today.

Mr Masagos stressed the need to continually evolve cyber defence strategies, as cyber criminals no longer "work in a random and opportunistic manner".

He gave the example of the Jokra malware attack in March this year, which affected more than 30,000 systems in South Korea, including banks and broadcasting organisations.

"Perpetrators can inflict major damage with relatively less resources than that needed to protect and defend the systems."

Given these new vulnerabilities and threats, and the centrality of cyberspace in our daily lives, Mr Masagos said it was important to grow Singapore's national cyber security capacity.

"Our cyber defence strategies must shift from a reactive model towards a pro-active, intelligence-based one," he said.

The public can play a role in protecting cyberspace, he added.

He noted the National Security Coordination Secretariat's CyberShock game, which educates the public on the potential impact of cyber attacks on daily life.

Some participants at the event told The Straits Times they were heartened by the Government's measures to combat cyber threats.

Said Mr Douglas Tang, senior director of cyber security for NEC Asia Pacific: "Cyber attacks are now not just technology-based attacks, but also forms of social engagement, where cyber criminals put their heads together to share information."

Players save city from 'cyber terrorists' in new interactive game

The city is under attack from "cyber criminals".

With the clock ticking, it is up to you to restore crippled services.

This is the scenario behind a new interactive game (pictured above) that aims to teach members of the public the importance of online security.

Gamers play while standing at touch screens mounted in front of a model city made of 168,277 Lego bricks.

With the metropolis under threat, they are presented with a variety of puzzles and cyber security-related questions.

For example, they are asked the difference between a virus and a worm, and tested on their knowledge of practical precautions such as creating strong passwords.

The aim is to restore the essential services: airport, waterworks, banking, telecommunications, and electricity.

Top scorers are tracked on a leaderboard and the best stand to win "attractive" prizes.

Called CyberShock, the game is the brainchild of the National Security Coordination Secretariat. Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli launched it yesterday, saying it would help the public to learn the importance of staying vigilant.

The initiative is the first part of the secretariat's Let's Stand Together campaign, which aims to raise awareness of national security issues such as cyber security, pandemics and terrorism.

It will be made available to the public from this Friday to Sunday at Suntec City West Atrium.

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