New rules of engagement for cybersecurity

AHMET TOPAL
ISTANBUL
Published 05.04.2016 23:15

Turkey moves to adopt a new action plan for cybersecurity, which will include pre-emptive strikes against those threatening it, according to Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Binali Yıldırım. He said the ministry would monitor "signals" of cyberattacks to curb them before they damage the country's security in cyberspace. Last year, Turkey saw a series of cyberattacks for about two weeks in a coordinated assault by hackers.

The attacks, one of the worst in the country's history, led to crashes and temporary disruption in government websites, as well as online banking services. Yıldırım said the government undertook a set of legal measures against cyberattacks such as new regulations to punish perpetrators and the establishment of an "intervention center" to fight the attacks, along with the deployment of cybersecurity teams in all state agencies. "We adopted a cybersecurity strategy and action plan, and we plan to expand it," Yıldırım said.

The minister added that their measures against such attacks would not be confined to the protection of data. "We plan to boost deterrence against cyberattacks. Those attacks do not happen randomly and they have a pattern. We will track those patterns and will intervene to develop anti-cyberattack plans. If this fails, we will retaliate against those conducting the cyberattacks," Yıldırım said, though he did not elaborate on how the retaliation would take place. "Cyberspace is different than our world, but it is similar, as cyberattacks are sometimes conducted by states themselves. So, there should be certain rules of engagement. We will define new rules of engagement [in the fight against cyber threats], and this will either be due to staving off the attacks and/or punishing those," he said.

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