Criminalise all kinds of cyber attackers
SINGAPORE IS SETTING UP a national centre for cyber security to detect threats to government websites and vital information systems. That is a giant step taken by the Singapore Government to check possible cyber attacks and safeguard our national security.
While this is largely a government initiative, it is imperative that businesses and the public work hand in hand with all government agencies to help arrest this global menace in today’s world of the cyberspace. Given that we, and all peace-loving nations of the world, are facing the “unknown, silent enemy”, it is all the more critical that every citizen stays vigilant and plays his part to help ensure that our nation is safe – from cyber as well as physical attacks. The horrific 9/11 attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001 is a grim reminder to the entire world of the grave dangers humanity faces should there be even a minor lapse in security. As we have been reminded time and again, we must never let our guard down.
More than staying vigilant, the laws should come down hard on cyber crooks. Even those who “inject” viruses into our personal computers and smart phones should be criminalised. These are the people who cause inconvenience and frustration, leading to loss in work-hours and productivity. If parking a vehicle on a road that has a white line is considered an offence, and if a person caught puffing in a non-smoking area is an offence – both seemingly minor skirmishes with the law – then surely deliberately corrupting one’s personal computer should be treated as a criminal act, and a more serious one at that, and therefore the offender deserves a more serious punishment commensurate with the seriousness of his action.
Worse than just causing inconvenience, cyber attackers can sabotage an organisation’s entire operations and bring it to its knees. Or hold a nation to ransom. Imagine the consequences if someone were to tinker with the computer system in the operations room of the Changi Airport control tower.
There is only one way to tackle this problem: Punish the perpetrators severely.