U.S. helps Albania fight cyber-security attacks

13:24, June 14, 2011      

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A United States agency started on Monday a one-year program to boost Albania's government capacity to deal with cyber-security threats ranging from hackers to more serious threats, Albanian and U.S. officials said.

After the signing of the agreement by Joseph C. Williams, the USAID Albania Director, and Albania's Information Technology Minister Genc Pollo, experts from Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute (SEI) will start the training.

Pollo said that in the last five years the Democratic Party government of Prime Minister Sali Berisha has made great progress with its Digital Albania project, which had even transformed the activity of many sectors.

"Quite a number of state agencies interact with officials, clients or the wider public through websites and interactive portals," Pollo said. "We, too, have registered attacks against websites, including those of simple hackers, who in most cases are youngsters with technical and intellectual gifts and a rebellious character."

"But we should not forget that there are more serious aggressors than them. Such attacks could bring more serious consequences both for the state as well as for non-governmental organizations, if attention is not paid to them."

Pollo explained that the United States had recently declared that if subjected to such an attack, it reserves the right to respond with a conventional military attack. Albania is a member of NATO and a close ally of the United States.

The initial week-long seminar, one of many training sessions for government agencies and ministries until March 2012, will aim to help officials understand cyber-security models, build skills to resist operational threats, and develop processes for managing cyber-security incidents.

Between September 2011 and March 2012, SEI will conduct several more workshops that will provide the necessary know-how to Albania's government to set up its own cyber-security facility that will protect Albania from cyber threats that result from natural disasters to cyber-attacks.

"Workshop topics will include: planning and implementing strategies, benchmarks, timelines, resources; gathering computer security incident reports; designing and maintaining a database of security incidents; publicizing the facility's role; developing a warning notification service; and building relations with peer security organizations," USAID said in a statement.

Source: Xinhua
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