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Apec free-trade goals under cyberthreat

SINGAPORE: Government and corporate computer systems in the Asia Pacific region remain vulnerable to "cyberattacks" which could endanger efforts to tear down trade and investment barriers, a regional group said Tuesday.

This vulnerability shows the need to improve cybersecurity among Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum members, its Singapore-based secretariat said in a statement.

"Over recent years, Internet attacks have been increasing in frequency, sophistication and scale," said Hidetoshi Ohno, director of the information technology security policy office at Japan's Economy Trade and Industry Ministry.

"Apec's free trade and investment goals are at risk of being undermined by activities of cybercriminals, terrorists and basic hackers," the Apec statement quoted Ohno as saying.

He said Apec members have agreed to establish national cybercrime units by October this year as a measure to confront the threat, which includes attacks by viruses and worms. Coordination centres have been established to advise companies and governments on cybersecurity.

APEC is to hold a two-day seminar this weekend in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur to discuss the creation of computer emergency response teams (CERTs) among members, the secretariat said.

"If the business and government sectors in each Apec economy had access to the services of the local CERT, individual attacks could be quickly shut down at their source," said Alex Webling, coordinator of the seminar.

Apec is the main forum for promoting trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region. Apec's 21 economies encompass 2.5 billion people and make up half the world's trade.

It groups Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam. -- AFP

Source: star-techcentral.com



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