Financial Times

Sri Lanka works out effective ways of fighting cyber crime
By Bandula Sirimanna

Sri Lanka is working out effective ways of fighting cyber crime by strengthening awareness on Information Security. The Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Response Unit (SLCERT) of the ICT Agency is mandated with protecting the ICT resources from threats both foreign and domestic, and responding to and remedying such threats if they are realized. Head of the SLCERT Lal Dias told The Sunday Times FT that computer crimes would soon be the biggest challenge for the police and lawmakers. Computer crimes mainly involve unauthorized access, data alteration and destruction and theft of intellectual property. “Crimes like fraud, pornography, illegal sales can all be done by computers,” he said.

He also warned that cyber crimes could take on a far more serious dimension in the near future. He expressed the belief that a new breed of criminals could damage telecommunications or rail links, disrupt power supplies and harm other important parts of the country's infrastructure through illegal access to computer systems.

The SLCERT is involved in proactively strengthening awareness of Information Security, by way of workshops, seminars, policy development, security assessments and security alerts. Mr. Dias said that Information Security remains very much a relatively unknown area. To address this lack of awareness, SLCERT is organizing its first “Cyber Security Week” in conjunction with the International IT conference and Infotel exhibition to be held in Colombo from October 27 to November 2.

Meanwhile a dedicated centre for digital forensics and a specialized Digital Forensic Lab are now being maintained at the University of Colombo School of Computing for the enforcement of Computer Crimes and also create the framework for the analysis offorensic evidence. Director of the Institute Dr. Ruvan Weerasinghe said that the capacity building for enforcement officials would be undertaken under this project as well as developing linkages with foreign enforcement agencies.


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