CSA Leads Whole-of-Government Exercise to Respond to Cyber Attacks

18 Jul 2017

Exercise Cyber Star 2017  

Photo credit: Ministry of Communications and Information

The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) today held the second run of Exercise Cyber Star in a whole-of-government effort to put Singapore’s cyber incident management and emergency response plans to the test.

For the first time, the scope of Exercise Cyber Star was expanded to cover all 11 designated Critical Information Infrastructure[1] (CII) sectors in Singapore. Seven sectors - namely Aviation, Healthcare, Land Transport, Maritime, Media, Security & Emergency and Water – were exercised, alongside the Banking and Finance, Energy, Government, and Infocomm sectors that were exercised in 2016. The exercise comprised a series of complex scenario planning sessions, workshops and table-top discussions before culminating in the final exercise today.

Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Mr Teo Chee Hean observed the exercise and interacted with exercise participants. He was accompanied by Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-Charge of Cybersecurity, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Education, Dr Janil Puthucheary. Deputy Prime Minister Teo, Minister Yaacob and Senior Minister of State Janil were briefed on the exercise and also observed the technical competencies of the National Cyber Incident Response Teams (NCIRTs)[2] as they were put through a technical validation exercise in a cyber range.

More than 200 participants, comprising sector leads and CII owners from the 11 sectors participated in the exercise. The exercise scenarios covered different types of cyber-attacks targeting essential services, including web defacement, wide-spread data exfiltration malware infections, ransomware hits, Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) attacks and cyber-physical attack. Exercise participants developed and tested their incident management and remediation plans in response to these simulated attacks.

Mr David Koh, Chief Executive, CSA, said, “These exercises are important in bringing all our critical sectors together to strengthen our incident response plans and enable better cross-sector coordination. With greater interconnectivity, and proliferation of cyber threats, the ability of our critical sectors to respond promptly to attacks is vital.”

About Cyber Security Agency of Singapore

Established on 1 April 2015, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) provides dedicated and centralised oversight of national cybersecurity functions, and works with sector leads to protect Singapore’s critical services. It also engages with various industries and stakeholders to heighten cybersecurity awareness as well as to ensure the holistic development of Singapore’s cyber security landscape. The Agency was established under the Prime Minister’s Office and is managed by the Ministry of Communications and Information.

[1] Sectors responsible for the continuous delivery of essential services which Singapore relies on. The 11 critical sectors are: (1) Government, (2) Infocomm, (3) Energy, (4) Aviation, (5) Maritime, (6) Land Transport, (7) Healthcare, (8) Banking & Finance, (9) Water, (10) Security and Emergency, and (11) Media.

[2] NCIRTs are currently drawn from the incident response teams from CSA, Govtech, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Ministry of Defence (MINDEF). They are part of the Tier 1 (ie for cyber campaigns that threaten national security) and Tier 2 (ie for cyber attacks on a sector) response under the national cyber response plan.