Ministry of National Security warns of increased malicious cyber activity – NationNews Barbados – nationnews.com
Port of Spain – The cybersecurity arm of the Ministry of National Security has warned that the country has been facing a sharp increase in malicious cyber activity over the past two months and police are urging those affected to report such incidents.
The warning was issued a day after Massy Stores confirmed it was the target of a cyberattack and, based on this, the Trinidad and Tobago Cybersecurity Incident Response Team (TT-CSIRT) urged all entities to embrace a heightened state of consciousness.
While the unit did not identify the number of cases that prompted the statement, it said those targeted included local and regional entities.
He noted that the main threats to the twin island republic were ransomware, social engineering (phishing) and malicious insiders.
He also warned that the most important vectors used against local entities were exploiting system vulnerabilities (especially firewalls and outdated email systems), phishing emails with attachments or infected links and compromised user credentials.
Speaking to Guardian Media on Friday, Trinidad and Tobago Supermarkets Association chairman Rajiv Diptee said the infiltration of Massy Stores was not an isolated incident.
“We’ve seen a spike in activity in these kinds of incidents over the past two years and these incidents are going unreported,” Diptee said.
However, the Cyber and Social Media Unit (CSMU) of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) lamented that people are not reporting these incidents and therefore there is little they can do. .
Inspector Daniel Hernandez said companies are reluctant to report because it could discourage trade.
“We know there is a problem that arises called reputational risk and companies are concerned about giving their information to the police, but if you don’t come you run the risk of not only becoming a victim , but also other people in your sphere, the report gives us a better picture of what is happening in the cyber landscape and it will give us the opportunity to inform the public about what is really happening.
He added that the TTPS can only intervene or investigate if the victim comes forward.
“That can’t happen, as a police establishment, this report needs to be made, we need to have a victim, so I can’t enter someone’s premises or access their private information, one of the most important things that we cherish is citizens’ private information and I don’t have the power to walk into Massy and say I want to investigate.
Hernandez said people are underutilizing the unit because they haven’t received any reports of cyberattacks so far this year.
And although he said his unit was ready and had the ability to seek justice, there are still no cybercrime laws in Trinidad and Tobago.
“I want to be clear, there is no cybercrime law, yes a bill has been introduced, we know the bill has lapsed but there is work underway to get some adjustments to the Computer Misuse Act and that should open some doors and give us some teeth.
Meanwhile, the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TTCIC) said it was certain many other attacks had gone unnoticed by the general public.
Chief Executive Ian De Souza said: “The unfortunate problem is that cybercrime, like other crimes, is going to be part of our daily lives, so what becomes important is what we do to protect ourselves. There is an information log and many technologies to help counter the problem. (CMC)