Feeds

Hong Kong cops open £700k cyber security centre

27-man centre will try to spot and combat CNI attacks

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The Hong Kong government has thrown HK$9 million (£730,000) at a new Cyber Security Centre in a bid to tackle the growing threat to critical infrastructure in the Special Administrative Region of China.

Police commissioner Tsang Wai-hung said at the opening ceremony last Friday that the 27-man centre would be staffed by officers from the small Technology Crime Division and heralded it as the first step towards working more closely with public and private sector organisations.

“Extensive research indicates that the global community continues to suffer from increasingly sophisticated and elusive cyber attacks and if such attacks were successful on critical infrastructure systems the consequences to society would be serious and far reaching,” he said.

“So in recognising this global threat as well as drawing references from overseas experience, the force has decided that the setting up of this centre will - in collaboration with the stakeholders – strengthen our resilience against such threats.”

The centre will be used to support the division’s efforts at spotting and preventing hi-tech crime; analyse and respond to cyber attacks in real-time; and strengthen industry collaboration domestically and internationally.

However, the force was immediately put on the back foot over its plans to monitor data traffic over critical infrastructure systems, despite giving assurances it would only be looking at general data flows and not inspecting specific content.

Lawmaker and founder Charles Mok told the local South China Morning Post that independent experts should be called in to audit the technology and report back on whether web users’ privacy rights will be respected.

"Now, the law enforcers and banks have agreed to monitor certain data. The banks may not find this a problem, but its clients may be worried," he said.

While Hong Kong has had a CERT for over a decade, there have been mutterings that it is under-resourced to deal with the growing online threat to businesses.

Roy Ko, manager of the HKCERT, told The Reg that it will work closely with the Centre to share info on compromised machines and other intelligence.

"Our work will focus on cleaning up compromised machines in Hong Kong as these compromised machines may launch attacks on others. The police focus mainly on attacks targeting HK organisations and to warn or protect these organisations," he explained.

"A mechanism to analyse cyber threat-related traffic is necessary to provide early warning and quick response to attacks, in particular DDoS attacks. HKCERT proposed a similar system a few years back and I am glad that the HK police force finally got the funding and resource to do that. But there is still a lot to be done."

Financial losses due to “technology crime cases” in the SAR have jumped from HK$45m (£3.6m) in 2009 to HK$148.5m (£12m) last year, with online fraud, DDoS-related blackmail and hacktivism among the most common threats. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.