G-CSIRT: Cyber Watchdog Launched!

          The Task Force for the Security of Critical Infrastructures of the Cabinet Oversight Committee on Internal Security under Undersecretary Abraham Purugganan  formally launch the Government - Computer Security Incident Response Team (G-CSIRT) last August 5, 2004.

          It was inaugurated by Executive Secretary Alberto Romulo at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Headquarters in
Camp Crame.

          The G-CSIRT will be the focal point for reporting computer attacks intrusions on information and communications system. It will also provide a coordinated support system in response to such incidents.

          In line with President Arroyos campaign to protect the nations critical infrastructures against terrorist organizations, the G-CSIRT is launched in response to the growing threats in Philippine cyberspace. Its launching marks the beginning of a coordinated and integrated effort to build the nations capabilities in responding top threats in cyberspace.

          "Our increasing interdependence on information and communication technology (ICT) and the interdependence of critical infrastructures coupled with the increasing value of information, and the convenience of using ICT to wage war have increase the risks in Philippine cyberspace," explained Purugganan.

          The "I Love You" virus has extensively damage countless computer systems all over the globe. It has caused US-based telecom giant AT&T an estimated $10 billion loss in revenues not to mention the losses incurred by several local companies and firms.

          Purugganan stressed the need in preventing and mitigating electronic crimes particularly network intrusions and hacking, telecommunication fraud, malicious virus transmission and other forms of cyber crimes that can affect critical infrastructures.

          The G-CSIRT will focus on intrusions into information and communication systems of the twelve key sectors mentioned in the National Critical Infrastructure Protection Plan (NCIPP) namely: government, food and agriculture, transportation and communication, water, energy, health, emergency response services, manufacturing, banking and finance, strategic commercial centers, and cultural and religious sites and facilities.

          One of the key factors in the success of this campaign to protect the Philippine cyberspace is the active participation of the private sector, the business community, the academe and the citizenry in general.

          Jointly managed by the TFSCI and the Philippine National Police (PNP) through the Anti-Transnational Crime Division (ATCD), it will be supported by other agencies and the private sector who will comprise the executive and advisory boards respectively.

          Critical infrastructures, as defined in the NCIPP, are comprised of two aspectsthe physical and the cyber. The G-CSIRT is a manifestation of the Macapagal-Arroyo governments effort to address security requirement of the cyber aspect of critical infrastructures.

          The G-CSIRT is one of the initial programs of the TFSCI that will trigger other programs for securing the Philippine cyberspace, such as the conduct of vulnerability assessment and security audits, building databases and capacity-building namely training and advocacy, to name a few.



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