Last updated: 13 March 2023
Published on: 28 July 2016
5 MINS READ
Find out what Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, shared about the National Cybercrime Action Plan (NCAP) at the recent RSA Conference.
Get up-to-date information on the latest scams, share personal experiences of scam encounters and lodge police reports online.
Just some of the things members of the public can now do on the Scam Alert web site, which has been transformed into a one-stop self-help portal against scams.
A joint effort by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and National Crime Prevention Council, the portal is one of several initiatives aimed at preventing cybercrime by educating and empowering the public to stay safe in cyberspace.
Speaking at the RSA Conference Asia-Pacific and Japan 2016 on 20 July 2016, Mr K Shanmugam, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister for Law, said prevention is one of the key tenets underpinning Singapore’s National Cybercrime Action Plan (NCAP), alongside agile response, effective legislation and shared responsibility.
“The first priority has to be train our people to be smarter, better, in dealing with cyberspace and to empower them to work on cyberspace,” said Mr Shanmugam.
The Scam Alert portal will provide information on the methods used in carrying out scams, so that the public can safeguard themselves from falling prey.
There will be links to major online e-commerce platforms so that the public can approach the platform administrators for assistance regarding transactions on these platforms. Victims of scams will also be able to lodge reports for police investigations via SPF’s Electronic Police Centre.
The portal also provides a platform for members of the public to share their personal encounters so that others can be forewarned if they encounter similar experiences. The information shared on this platform will also aid SPF in identifying emergeng crime trends and dealing with them quickly and efficiently.
In line with the education and empowerment thrust of the NCAP, SPF is also embarking on a mass education campaign in schools and reaching out to the public through Neighbourhood Police Centres and roadshows, with a special focus on vulnerable groups such as senior citizens and younger people.
The National Crime Prevention Council will also be launching a new app called the “Cyro” game app for children later this year.
The second principle underpinning the NCAP is to have quick and strong response to cybercrime, and this is being done by enhancing the government’s capacity and capability in this area.
For example, SPF is developing new tools to improve its cybercrime investigation capabilities.
One such initiative is the DIGital Evidence Search Tool (DIGEST) which will automate the forensic processing of huge volumes of data, enabling investigation officers to focus their efforts on more specialised investigation functions.
The tool will also reduce the processing time for digital evidence, ensuring that investigation officers can follow up on leads quickly and efficiently and solve cases in a shorter time.
The third priority in the fight against cybercrime is the strengthening of legislation and the criminal justice framework.
For example, the Computer Misuse and Cyber Security Act will be amended to ensure that it remains effective in dealing with the transnational nature of cybercrimes and the evolving tactics of criminals.
The Singapore Government will also continue to strengthen local and international partnerships - the fourth priority under NCAP – to underscore the principle that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.
For example, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is working with industry to develop customised malware analysis tools and collaborating with Temasek Polytechnic to set up the Temasek Advanced Learning, Nurturing and Testing (TALENT) Laboratory to support students from different local institutes of higher learning who are specialising in cybercrime and cybersecurity.
On the international front, Singapore is the project proponent of the two-year ASEAN Cyber Capacity Development Project.
MHA has also established a new Institute of Safety and Security Studies which will be offering a Cyber Investigation Essential Course for ASEAN Member States this year.
In his speech, Mr Shanmugam also highlighted the excellent partnership between Singapore and the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI), Interpol’s global hub on cybercrime which is located here.
Platforms such as the RSA Conference, the ASEAN plus Three Cybercrime Workshop, the Senior Officials Roundtable on Cybercrime and the Future of Cybercrime Forum have also helped to bring together thought leaders to promote knowledge sharing and best practices, he said.
“Through these platforms, we hope to build a collaborative ecosystem to meet the threat of cybercrime,” said Mr Shanmugam.
“Ultimately, our National Cybercrime Action Plan is a recognition of a change that cybercrime will bring about in our society and a fundamental relook at our approaches, our laws, our outreach efforts, the way we train and equip our police officers, and the way our agencies work with partners both within and outside of Singapore.”