Indonesia to recruit hundreds of cyber defenders

Indonesia to recruit hundreds of cyber defenders


Indonesia’s newly created cyber security agency plans to recruit hundreds of people to guard against cyber attacks and to protect the integrity of government institutions and local elections.

Djoko Setiadi, the newly sworn-in chief of Indonesia’s National Cyber and Encryption Agency, told reporters in early January 2018 that the government will be diligent in bolstering its cyber security ranks with the best people available. “We need a lot of human resources, so we plan to recruit hundreds of people soon, including graduates of our technological institutes and anyone who has the cyber skills and integrity we are looking for,” Setiadi said, according to Reuters. “Our responsibility is to provide protection in the cyber world to government institutions, even private companies, but most importantly to the public.”

The agency is charged with tracking cyber crime and identifying perpetrators, Reuters reported.

“We will be coordinating with the police, military and other institutions with cyber capabilities on the information we check,” Setiadi said.

Setiadi, pictured, will report directly to President Joko Widodo. His agency is being established because of the government’s concern over online misinformation and potential hoaxes related to local elections that will take place across the country later this year.

Cyber crime is a growing industry in Indonesia. In 2013, Indonesia overtook China as the top source of cyber attacks in the world, according to the U.S.-based internet monitoring firm Akamai. Of the 175 countries Akamai investigated in 2013, Indonesia accounted for 38 percent of the hacking-related traffic.

A more recent study by the digital identity company ThreatMetrix, released in November 2017, said Indonesia, India and the Philippines are now some of the countries that have the highest rates of malware infections. Malware is a software intended to damage or disable computers. That study said China now ranks second behind the United States as the top cyber-crime hot spots in the world, according to the 2017 APAC Cybercrime Report by ThreatMetrix.

“Spurred by massive economic growth, the [Indo-] Asia-Pacific region continues its rapid digital transformation. Cyber crime in the region is also growing with attacks becoming more organized and sophisticated,” the report states.

Indonesian officials over the past few years have emphasized the full spectrum of the country’s cyber challenges. The challenges range from national security and e-commerce to concerns about e-voting. Digital commerce presents a perpetual vulnerability. The ThreatMetrix study found the Indo-Asia-Pacific region is experiencing steady growth in digital transactions with volume increasing by 62 percent over the previous year.