UAE gets new special anti-cybercrime body
Note: I will be visiting Dubai to follow up on a number of CyberCrime activity.
Cybersecurity in the United Arab Emirates has just got tighter following the announcement of the creation of the UAE Computer Emergency Response Team. The UAE’s Telecom Regulatory Authority has tasked this new group, which will start operations this year, with fighting cybercrime in the country.
The official unveiling of aeCERT has been made at the inaugural Deep Knowledge Security Conference, attended by regional and international cybersecurity experts. Mohammed Nasser Al Ghanim, director of the UAE’s Telecom Regulatory Authority, spoke of the need to create such a unit given the growing problems surrounding cybercrime in the region. “This year, the UAE counteracted many attacks, mainly website defacement, phishing attacks and many others. These attacks caused immense damage to the businesses,” said Al Ghanim.
A quick start to operations has been promised, as aeCERT should come online by the end of 2007. “The team will begin operation by the fourth quarter of this year. It will be comprehensive and help prevent much Internet crime,” said Fatma Bazarghan, who will head the new hi-tech unit. The UAE lately has been the focus of attention regarding cybercrime in the Gulf, as a large cyberfraud gang offering bogus services from the Dubai International Finance Centre was dismantled. Even more recently the authorities thwarted a hacking attempt on the Dubai eGovernment computer network, and the UAE are regional leaders in terms of sheer numbers of cyberattacks. However, much has also been done to safeguard online safety in the country with the adoption of strict anti-cybercrime laws in 2006. The establishment of the new crime-fighting group is another step in the right direction for the UAE.