Nuray Babacan – ANKARA
Turkey will establish a “cyber army” against possible cyber threats, Turkish Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan has said, commenting on the recent WannaCry “ransomware” attack that has infected more than 300,000 computers worldwide.
Arslan also said the cyberattack had not harmed Turkey thanks to a March 21 warning sent to all institutions and organizations to keep main databases closed as the hackers were seeking ransom payments for the data that they encrypted.
“However, they may pose a bigger threat and danger in the following days. That’s why we are strengthening the structure all the time. Some 13,000 white hackers came to work in the public sector. We are building a cyber army with five groups,” Arslan told daily Hürriyet on May 18, adding that there had been a major intensification in cyberattacks since June 2016.
“We formed centers and teams to intervene in cyber incidents starting from 2013. We led the way for the formation of these centers and teams in all institutions, not just the public sector. There is a beautiful coordination on this issue. We notified the institutions about the possibility of this recent cyberattack. We said, ‘Update your defense software and antivirus programs.’ This was very important,” he said.
Noting that there are Server Message Block (SMB) centers in which data is collected, Arslan said they warned institutions to keep them closed if they don’t use them.
“We survived these recent attacks unharmed as a country,” he said, noting that only a factory in the northwestern province of Bursa stopped producing for a day due to the cyberattack on the Renault center in France.