UAE cybercrime squad gunning forward

aeCERT director reveals the country had close to five phishing attacks since last year

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  April 22, 2009

The United Arab Emirates Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT) has dealt with close to five phishing attacks in the country since its launch in July last year, its director has revealed.

Eng. Tariq Abdulghaffar Mohammad Al Hawi briefed the media about the national cybersecurity advisory body’s progress at the third Hack in The Box Security Conference in Dubai that’s taking place from April 20 - 23.

aeCERT, which was established by the TRA, helps with the detection and prevention of cyber threats in the UAE. It offers twenty five related services, free of charge, to its constituents and is presently hard at work revising cybersecurity laws that will better protect the country in this digital age.

Al Hawi pointed out that the UAE presently shows a mix of different threats such as malware, identity theft and phishing at levels that are "expected". He went on to reveal that there were “less than five phishing attacks” that took place since last year.

In 2008, criminals targeted the UAE Ministry of Education and Ministry of Labour by setting up fake websites on two separate phishing incidents. The sites, which were almost identical to the original ones save for the .tk domain suffix, were subsequently taken down with an investigation launched into the company that was used to host the malicious websites.

In a candid moment, Al Hawi admitted that there wasn’t enough awareness about aeCERT’s services and that more needs to be done to reinforce the importance of information security.

It has plans to grow its staff of ten and build a strong research base, which will ultimately serve to help the government, public and private sectors, as well as the general public.

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