Singapore Creates Counter Ransomware Task Force to Tackle Threats

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Singapore has created a new task force to help businesses and research and educational institutions defend against an increased number of ransomware attacks.

The Counter Ransomware Task Force (CRTF), in particular, will focus on protecting those entities that may be suppliers to critical information infrastructure operators. It was announced by Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean at the seventh annual Singapore International Cyber Week on Wednesday.

The government executive has also said CRTF was set up earlier this year and comprised senior officers from the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), GovTech and Infocomm Media Development Authority.

The cybersecurity team also includes representatives from the Ministry of Communications and Information, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the country's armed forces and police force.

"It's great to see the new Singapore ransomware task force highlight the issues of paying ransoms and talk about the long-term consequences it can have," Sam Linford, VP of EMEA channels at Deep Instinct, told Infosecurity.

According to the executive, ransomware is not just an IT problem but a business management, financial and reputational issue. 

Because of this, executive-level managers within a company must be involved in the discussion when it comes to these types of attacks.

"There is a significant disconnect between how various senior decision-makers perceive their organization's cyber-attack preparedness, and this lack of understanding will only exacerbate the impact of attacks," Linford added.

"Every nation, all organizations and each senior individual should be coming together to show a global and united front against ransomware – let's show cyber-criminals that enough is enough."

The establishment of Singapore's Counter Ransomware Task Force comes weeks after security researchers at CloudSEK spotted several phishing campaigns in the country (and in Saudi Arabia and UAE) relying on fake KFC and McDonald's websites to scam customers.

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