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Singapore boosts cyber security after hacking incidents

New measures to strengthen cyber security to prevent a recurrence of attacks on government websites, including those of the president and prime minister, were announced today (Aug 26).

Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim (below) said the government is upgrading its Cyber-Watch Centre, allowing it to track malicious activities and respond swiftly when there are security breaches.

The upgrades are expected to be completed by January 2015.

“Large-scale cyber security breaches have made headlines and raised public concerns,” Dr Yaacob said in a speech to a conference of experts in Singapore, referring to attacks against US retailer Target and other international incidents.

“Governments, businesses, manufacturers and consumers must guard against data leakage, unauthorised access to corporate resources and malware attack against their networks,” he said.

Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim

Dr Yaacob said the government is working to increase the number of homegrown cyber security experts by partnering with local universities that offer specialist degrees.

“The biggest growth in manpower requirements will be in the areas of security operations, security engineering and technology,” he added.

Apart from dedicated cyber security experts, the government and business also need more professionals in areas like network engineering and application development to guard against cyber threats, Yaacob said.

A rash of attacks in Singapore last year targeted the websites of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Tony Tan, as well as other government portals.

The attacks took place after a self-proclaimed spokesperson for international hacker group Anonymous appeared in a video to demand the scrapping of a law requiring local news websites to obtain annual licences.

Source: AFP

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