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Indonesia to create its own "cyber army"

By Abu Hanifah (Xinhua)

14:47, May 29, 2013

JAKARTA, May 29 (Xinhua) -- In a move to keep the country's sovereignty in the cyber age, the Indonesian defense ministry is planning to create a special force called "cyber army" to tackle attacks by Internet hackers against the state's Internet portals and websites that could endanger the security of the state.

A senior official at the ministry said that it would propose a law to legalize the operation of the "cyber army." The plan to set up the special force was hatched after rampant attacks against government Internet portals and websites have been reported during the last three years.

"The only law that we have to address cyber crime is the IITE law," Pos M. Hutabarat, director general of security potentials at the ministry, said on Tuesday, referring to the law that regulates online information and transactions for civilians that carries up to 1 billion rupiah (about 102,000 U.S. dollars) fine for the violators.

Pos said that there is an urgent need for a law to create the "cyber army" in Indonesia.

According to Pos, the "cyber army" will be manned by uniformed soldiers particularly trained on information technology and possessed the skills and techniques on how to prevent cyber attacks.

He said that similar cyber units are already operational in several countries, including the United States, China, South Korea and Iran.

Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said earlier that establishment of the task force would need the full support of the Communication and Information Ministry.

The ministry is expected to provide telecommunication infrastructure management system, equipment and trainers for the members of the proposed "cyber army," Purnomo added.

"The Communication and Information ministry has the capacity to build up the cyber security," he said, adding that the "cyber army" unit is planned to be embedded in the navy, the army and the air force.

Communications and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring said earlier that websites of Indonesia's state ministries and agencies have received more than 36.6 million cyber attacks from hackers in the last three years.

He said that his ministry is in a process of building a system called "National Cyber Security" to protect websites of government institutions and agencies.

To make the system effective, the ministry has sought the cooperation of other government agencies, including the national intelligence body (BIN), the national narcotics body (BNN), and the military and government's anti-terrorism desks (BNPT).

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