Level of organised cyber crime raises eyebrows; MS raises hopes

Thursday, 6 March 2014 00:40 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The level of cyber crimes committed by organised cyber criminals is alarming. But there is a silver lining in this dark cloud, thanks to the endeavours of Microsoft (MS), says MS. This summarises the keynote at the 2014 breakfast briefing that the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM CXO) held at Hilton Colombo Residencies recently. During the address, keynote speaker MS Asia’s Senior Attorney and Licence and Compliance and Digital Crimes – Legal and Corporate Affairs Division Intellectual Property Regional Director Keshav Dhakad elaborated: “People ask ‘why do groups organise themselves so brilliantly to bring about such disaster to the world?’. The answer is that the people who engage themselves in these destructive pursuits like money and cybercrime brings in money that is both easy and colossal.” The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), and the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Response Team (SL CERT), a subsidiary of ICTA, were also represented at the briefing. SLASSCOM holds briefings such as this as an annual feature on a current topic. SLASSCOM Vice Chairman Jayantha De Silva welcomed the audience while SLASSCOM Executive Director Imran Furkan introduced the keynote speaker. Themed ‘Organised crime on the internet: cyber threats and pro-active defence,’ the keynote speaker and panellists kept the audience spell-bound. During his keynote presentation, Microsoft Asia’s senior attorney and Licence and Compliance and Digital Crimes – Legal and Corporate Affairs Division Intellectual Property Regional Director Keshav Dhakad disclosed the following: Alarming status quo nThe rising impact of cybercrime is US dollars 113 billion per year. nThe National Centre for missing and exploited children has received more than 90 million images and videos of child phonograph. nEvery second 12 people become victims of cybercrime – nearly 400 million every year. nOne in five small and medium enterprises is targeted by cybercrimes. n53% of the world securities exchanges were targeted in 2012. n50% of online adults have been victims in the past year Remedial measures Raising hopes of counter measures equal to the challenges posed by organised cyber criminals the Microsoft Asia Director – Intellectual Property said in the keynote: Cybercriminals will continue to evolve and Microsoft (MS) will continue to invest in the latest tools and technologies. MS will increase its knowledge of the criminal infrastructure and undertake pro-active disruption. It will build strong and secure products and cloud services. It will also forge strong public and private partnerships on cyber threat intelligence. “The Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit will be specially charged with this task of leading the fight against cybercrime,” the keynote speaker attested. Expressing his views during the panel discussion ICTA Program Director/Legal Advisor Jayantha Fernando placed before the audience the various measures the Government had adopted to fight cyber crime. Drawing much from the Council of Europe’s Budapest Convention on Cyber Crime that came into force in July 2004 Sri Lanka enacted the Computer Crimes Act No. 24of 2007. Sri Lanka CERT CC was established in 2007 as a subsidiary of ICTA to protect the country’s information infrastructure and coordinate protective measures against cyber security. ICTA adopted the Information Security Policy along with the e-Government Policy (2009) in order to make Governments organisations prepared to face Information Security challenges. The ICTA Program Director/Legal Advisor said further that the trend to commit computer crimes has increased at alarming proportions. He pointed out the need for all agencies to work as a team to curb cyber crime in the future. Participating in the panel discussion SL CERT CEO Lal Dias said that cyber threats and cyber crime incidents had become a negative factor towards the growth of ICT and Internet and there was a need to address the root cause. While 99x Technology Co-Founder and CEO Mano Sekaram served as moderator at the panel discussion that followed the keynote, the other members of the learned panel included the following: ICTA Program Director/Legal Advisor Jayantha Fernando, SL CERT CEO Lal Dias and Seguro Consultoria Ltd. Layers 7 Director Sujit Christy.