19 Oct 2022
INTER-AGENCY TASK FORCE TO COUNTER RANSOMWARE THREATS
The Government has convened an inter-agency Counter Ransomware Task Force (CRTF) to develop and make recommendations on possible policies, operational plans, and capabilities to improve Singapore’s counter ransomware efforts.
2. Ransomware has become a growing concern for businesses in Singapore. The number of ransomware cases reported in Singapore is on the rise, with a 54 per cent increase between 2020 and 2021. Around the world, ransomware attacks have also intensified in scale and impact, becoming threats to essential services and important infrastructure1.
3. For our efforts to be effective, the ransomware threat must be tackled as a cross-domain challenge. The Task Force therefore comprises senior Government representatives from the technology, cybersecurity, financial regulation, and law enforcement domains. The Task Force is chaired by Mr David Koh, Chief Executive, Cyber Security Agency (CSA) and comprises representatives from the CSA, Government Technology Agency, Infocomm Media Development Authority, Ministry of Communications and Information, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore Armed Forces and Singapore Police Force.
4. Ransomware is also a cross-border problem. Ransomware criminals are often based overseas and leverage jurisdictional boundaries to move illicit assets and evade legal consequences. Thus, the Task Force is looking into coordinating Singapore’s international engagement strategy to counter ransomware, and push for greater international cooperation in cybersecurity cooperation, financial supervision, and cross-border law enforcement operations.
5. The CRTF will deliver a report recommending strategies that the Government can take to improve its counter ransomware efforts. The report will be published in due course.
1 In 2021, a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline Company caused the shutdown of the largest fuel pipeline in the East Coast of the United States of America, affecting fuel prices and fuel supply to around 50 million customers. In the same year, a ransomware attack on meat processing company, JBS Foods suffered a ransomware attack that affected its facilities in US, Canada and Australia, resulting in food supply chain disruptions and price surges.
About the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore
Established in 2015, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) seeks to keep Singapore’s cyberspace safe and secure to underpin our Nation Security, power a Digital Economy and protect our Digital Way of Life. It maintains an oversight of national cybersecurity functions and works with sector leads to protect Singapore’s Critical Information Infrastructure. CSA also engages with various stakeholders to heighten cyber security awareness, build a vibrant cybersecurity ecosystem supported by a robust workforce, pursue international partnerships and drive regional cybersecurity capacity building programmes.
CSA is part of the Prime Minister’s Office and is managed by the Ministry of Communications and Information. For more news and information, please visit www.csa.gov.sg.