Computer Crime Research Center


Singapore unveils 23 million plan to fight cyber terrorism

Date: February 23, 2005
Source: AsiaOne

SINGAPORE - Cyber terrorists could wreak havoc with a successful attack on critical high-tech systems, Singapore said on Tuesday in announcing plans to spend S$38 million (US$23.3 million) to bolster its defences.

Terrorist groups are increasingly turning their attention to the Internet as a convenient means to raise funds, recruit new members and even plan attacks, Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan said.

'When used by someone with ill intentions, the dark side of infocomm technology can wreak havoc in cyberspace. This is cyber terrorism,' said Dr Tan.

'It is no exaggeration to say that the nation's 'infocomm' infrastructure has become the nerve system of our economy. ... Cyber attacks can seriously damage a country's economy,' he said at a seminar on high-tech threats.

The funds earmarked on Tuesday will be spent over three years to boost cyber defences, enhance training for defence staff, and develop contingency plans to help Singapore respond effectively to online attacks, he said.

Singapore ministers, including Dr Tan, often say the country - a firm supporter of Washington - would make a tempting target for terrorists, especially Islamic radicals.

The Republic has detained more than 30 alleged members of the Jemaah Islamiah, said to be the South-east Asian wing of the Al-Qaeda network that was behind the Sept 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

'Imam Samudra, the Jemaah Islamiah member responsible for the bombing in Bali in October 2003, has even written a book in which he urges fellow radicals to learn 'hacking',' Dr Tan told the audience.

Peter Ho, chairman of Singapore's National Infocomm Security Committee, told the seminar that a strike against one high-tech network could spread to others because they are connected.

'A cyber security incident in one organisation could very likely have a ripple effect across other infrastructures and systems,' he said.

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