Anti-hackers to fight local int’l e-threats

Anti-hackers to fight local int’l e-threats

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Anti-hackers to fight local int’l e-threats

A Anonymous supporter holds a flag bearing the headless man logo, during a demonstration, in Paris. Turkey to establish a team of 150 experts to protect official websites and information infrastructure. AFP photo

A team of 150 cyber security experts has begun working to protect official Turkish websites and information infrastructure, and an agreement is to be signed between Turkey’s Transportation and Communication Ministry and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) in the forthcoming weeks, officials from these institutions said.

“The agreement is expected to be signed in a few weeks,” Turan Özyanık from the press office of the ministry told the Daily News yesterday. Özyanık said TÜBİTAK will provide the ministry with guidance to protect the websites of state offices.

“Turkey has been underdeveloped in the area of cyber security, but with this move it aims to catch up with other developed states who are experienced in fighting such threats,” an official from TÜBİTAK, speaking under condition of anonymity, told the Daily News in a phone interview. TÜBİTAK has hired 150 engineers to form a team to fight cyber crime, he said. “Protecting critical information and providing stability and public security is the aim of this new structure. The team will be in charge of guarding finance, communication systems, and transportation. This will be an opportunity for us to strengthen Turkey’s cyber security, with 150 engineers working for the center.”

On July 7 an institution was established for the first time under the umbrella of TÜBİTAK, but it has not been activated yet, it is onky preparing projects for now, he said.

This number of engineers is fewer than are actually needed, however, said Leyla Keser, and academician and lawyer from Bilgi University whose area of expertise is cyber security. “The Republic of China and the United States of America have cyber armies consisting of nearly 3,000 staff members from various professions,” Keser told Hürriyet Daily News. “Fighting cyber-terrorism is what Turkey is trying to do right now. … All of the institutions in Turkey have been providing their own security, and now this is changing, becoming coordinated,” she said.

‘RedHack and Anonymous attacks are overrated’

Asked about the threat posed by RedHack, the group that has brought down numerous state websites and leaked information from the Foreign Ministry and the Security General Directorate of Ankara, the TÜBİTAK official said the group’s attacks are overrated.

“RedHack is here today, gone tomorrow. The RedHack team could be dispersed in a couple of months. Who knows? Are we going to end our work then? Of course not, we are designing our projects systematically now,” he said. RedHack is not the main threat, he said. “Turkey is preparing for major cyber attacks coming from other countries. A coordinated cyber war could break out with several countries attacking Turkey; we have to be ready for that.”

According to a recent report titled the “National Cyber Security Strategy Document,” which was presented to Transportation and Communication Minister Binali Yıldırım, government teams will closely monitor cyber attacks from both domestic and international sources, and the structures of the attacking persons or groups, as well as the plans and timing of the attacks. In response, the teams will systematically form counter-plans and solutions. The document, revealed on Aug. 19, also proposed undergraduate and graduate programs to be opened in the field of cyber security, while research institutions and test centers focusing on the matter will also be promoted.