[ISN] Najib outlines cyberspace threat to military networks

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Jun 11 2002 - 01:30:36 PDT

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    by Jasbir Singh
    June 10: The Nimda virus, which attacked a 17,831 computers in 
    Malaysia between August and October 2000, and cost RM22 million to 
    eradicate and to carry out repairs, is one of many threats in 
    Another survey by the United States Government has found that the 
    Pentagon's systems that contain sensitive but unclassified information 
    had been illegally accessed via networks 250,000 times and only 150 
    intrusions were detected.
    These, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, reflected on the 
    new realities faced by Governments, businesses and communities as they 
    moved on-line and became increasingly reliant on computer networks.
    He said although Malaysia has yet to experience serious security 
    threats by terrorists via the internet, preparations have to be made 
    to ensure the integrity of its networks.
    Najib said while cyber terrorism was not an imminent threat and 
    hackers so far were disinterested in causing violence, severe economic 
    or social harm, things could change with devastating effects in a 
    highly networked environment.
    Delivering a keynote address at the Jagat Cyber Law seminar series, 
    Najib said at present, terrorists have started using the cyberspace 
    for traditional forms of terrorism.
    Websites are used to spread messages and recruit supporters and the 
    internet is a means for communicating and coordinating their action... 
    it would not be long before the merger between terrorist and hackers 
    starts escalating.
    He said the Government was aware of such a threat and to that end, has 
    set up the National Information Security Council at the national level 
    and various departments at the lower levels of its organisations.
    The vulnerability to attacks on information could jeopardise national 
    and economic security, which could in turn lead to financial losses 
    and impact the confidentiality, integrity and availability of 
    Najib said the threat of cyber-terrorism grew greater as more 
    governments, businesses and communities moved into cyberspace and 
    exposed themselves to the risk of virus and attacks by hackers.
    He said the risk was further intensified as the independent networks 
    belonging to governments, businesses and communities are interlinked 
    to enable real-time communication, information sharing and electronic 
    Virtually any person on the net can acquire the hardware and software 
    needed to attack systems and network infrastructure.
    In addition, there are many hackers on the Internet who could be the 
    source of expertise for any nation or terrorist organisation.
    Therefore, he said, there was a dire need for a global consensus on 
    the definition of cyber terrorism.
    Nations need to start sharing information on potential threats and 
    weaknesses and develop processes to overcome them.
    The process, he said, will also require the harmonisation of laws on 
    terrorism, effective enforcement and sharing of expertise.
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