Interpol opens Singapore center to fight
Send a link to a friend
[October 02, 2014]
By Theodora D'cruz
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Interpol, the world's
largest police organization, is opening a center in Singapore focused on
fighting cyber crime, which many countries, it says, are poorly equipped
Cyber crime is increasingly conducted by a highly specialized
chain of software break-in experts, underground market-makers and
fraudsters who convert stolen passwords and identities into
financial gains. Criminals can keep data for months or even years
before using it to defraud victims.
China and the United States regularly trade accusations over cyber
"Cyber crime is a truly transnational crime in nature," said Noboru
Nakatani, executive director of Interpol's Global Complex for
Innovation. "It is a huge challenge to law enforcement... Even the
wealthy countries have limited resources to deal with cyber crime."
This week Japan Airlines Co Ltd became a victim, reporting up to
750,000 pieces of data about customers on its frequent flier service
had been stolen as a result on malware attached to its computers.
Computer security experts say developed, technology-rich Asian
countries like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are particularly
vulnerable to attacks.
A report by market research firm IDC and the National University of
Singapore estimated that businesses in Asia-Pacific will spend $230
billion in 2014 to deal with malware attached to their software, the
most of any region in the world.
"The awareness level (of cyber crime) is increasing across Asia, but
it lags behind the United States," said Bryce Boland, the Asia
Pacific vice president and chief technology officer at cyber
security company FireEye.
"That's partly because organizations in Asia haven't to the same
extent felt the impact of the crimes taking place or are simply
unaware of them."
Interpol will employ around 200 people at the Singapore center and
host a digital forensic laboratory to co-ordinate investigations.
Nakatani said one of the biggest problems in Asia was companies
outsourcing data to cloud computing companies in other countries.
"When you decentralize the information, especially critical
information like customer information, overseas, you start to lose
control of the legal protections over your data," he said.
[to top of second column]
Singapore relies heavily on its reputation of being low-crime and
politically stable to lure multinational companies to its shores but
has struggled recently with cyber attacks.
Last November, hackers claiming links to international hacking group
Anonymous defaced Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's
Standard Chartered reported last December that
statements of 647 of its private bank clients in Singapore had been
stolen, taken from the server of Fuji Xerox which provides printing
services to the bank.
Boeing Co said last week it was opening a cyber-security center in
Singapore, its first such facility outside the United States, to
tackle the "current and evolving cyber security challenges" in the
Nakatani said that Singapore was likely to remain a prime target for
"Naturally, as long as a country is wealthy and in good shape, the
criminals continue to look at you, at Singapore, because they see
the opportunity to make money," he said.
(Reporting by Theodora D'cruz; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Nick
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.