The Singapore government has convened an inter-agency counter ransomware task force, called CRTF, which will deliver a report on ways the city-state can improve its counter-ransomware efforts.
Senior Minister of State and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Teo Chee Hean, told the Singapore International Cyber Week 2022 (SICW) event that the CRTF would “develop and make recommendations on possible policies, operational plans, and capabilities to improve Singapore’s counter ransomware efforts.”
Its formation comes less than a week after Singapore officials attended a two-day ransomware-themed virtual summit convened by the White House, and were among more than 30 countries to jointly commit [pdf] to international response.
Domestically, Teo said that for Singapore’s own counter-ransomware 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,” he said.
The CRTF is chaired by David Koh, chief executive of the Cyber Security Agency (CSA).
It also counts 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.
Teo said the task force would “deliver a report recommending strategies that the government can take to improve its counter-ransomware efforts.”
“The report will be published in due course,” he said.
He added that the CRTF would also work with counterparts internationally.
“Ransomware criminals are often based overseas and leverage jurisdictional boundaries to move illicit assets and evade legal consequences,” he said.
“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.”