Regulator cooks up team to fry hackers

Andi Haswidi, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

They say the Internet knows no boundaries. Unfortunately, neither do the hackers, as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono discovered after a presidential website recently fell victim to the unwanted attentions of a hacker.

The attack took place on March 17, when the hacker, calling himself Qwerty, redirected those trying to access one of two presidential websites,, to another website featuring a protest letter to the President that satirically mimicked the historically famous Tritura -- the "people's three demands" to then-president Sukarno back in the 1960s.

Qwerty, claiming to represent the Indonesia's underground, demanded that the President reduce the cost of accessing the Internet, as was the case in China and India.

He also expressed support for Indonesia's Go Open-Source program, while urging the President to eradicate corruption, collusion, nepotism to avoid "further punishments from God."

No serious damage was done as the attack lasted less than two days.

But it was enough to spark a ruckus among regulators and officials as they found themselves coming under pressure to act.

With unusual alacrity for a government body, the Posts and Telecommunications Directorate General has taken action to provide the necessary legal basis for the establishment of an "Internet security committee".

"We expect the regulations to be ready in June and for the committee to commence operations in November," the directorate's spokesperson, Gatot S. Dewa Broto, told The Jakarta Post by telephone Wednesday.

Currently, the directorate is on the verge of finalizing amendments to a 2006 Information and Communications Minister's Decree on Internet Protocol (IP)-based telecommunications networks security, which would allow the directorate to appoint security officers as the Internet security committee's eyes and ears.

The necessary hardware and software to support the committee's work has already been procured at a total cost of about Rp 4 billion (about US$436,000), Gatot said.

Upon its establishment, the committee will be responsible for developing and operating a database surveillance mechanism and securing IP-based networks.
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