The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: ITU Urges Global Cooperation to Tackle Cyber Threats

THE International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has called for greater international co-operation between governments and the ICT industry to tackle the global nature of today's cyber security threats.

According to a statement released to The Sunday Times, the recent discovery by Kaspersky Lab of the highly complex malware known as Flame, reinforces the need for a co-ordinated response.

Worm.Win32.Flame or "Flame" has the ability to steal data such as e-mails, audio recordings, photos, documents, messages and discussions from infected computers.

It was discovered by Kaspersky Lab experts following a technical analysis requested by ITU into an unknown piece of malware which was deleting sensitive information.

Dr. Hamadoun Touré ITU Secretary-General said, "Flame is a prime example of why governments and industry must work together to tackle cyber security at the global level.

"Early warning of new threats is vital and it is critical that best practice on required corrective steps is shared in order to best protect the global information society. This is the value in building a global coalition".

According to ITU, international co-operation is a key element of ITU's Global Cyber security Agenda (GCA).

Cyber security will be a major agenda theme at ITU Telecom World 2012 slated 14-18 October 2012 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), supported by key partners, one of whom is Kaspersky Lab.

The forum will explore issues such as mitigating risks posed by major coordinated cyber-attacks at the national level, the threats posed by malware such as Flame, and strengthening international cooperation.

Rwanda is looking forward to collaborate with Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) to transfer information protection technology to the country.

Internet security threats if not addressed properly lead to service vulnerability, weakens consumer confidence, government vital information leak and ultimately cause brand damage and serious revenue decline.

According to Jean Philbert Nsengimana, the Minister of Youth and ICT, internet security threats keep evolving every minute and need to be addressed though strong protection systems.

The threats may include among others Internet fraud, ATM scams, theft of intellectual property and government data, malware targeting mobile devices and a resurgence of the Zeus Trojan, which targets financial information.

A survey, conducted by Deloitte last year, indicated that banks in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia lost $245 million in cyber fraud.

In July KISA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Rwanda Development Board (RDB) for collaboration in information protection sector.

At the ITU Telecom World 2012 event, Eugene Kaspersky, the CEO of Kaspersky Lab, will deliver a keynote speech, outlining the magnitude and global nature of cyber threats today.

Commenting about the event, Kaspersky noted, "As recent events have only served to underline, Cyber security is a key global concern facing us all, and it is crucial that we use the international platform to conduct the full and proper discussions needed to best tackle this issue."

A core element of GCA is the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT), an international public-private initiative - whose membership comprises of 142 countries - dedicated to enhancing the global community's capacity to prevent, defend and respond to cyber threats.

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