CIVILIAN “cyber warriors” are to be recruited by the Thai army to combat recent cyber attacks, army commander-in-chief Chalermchai Sittisat said Monday.
Due to a shortage of military officers specialising in the field, civilians will be employed to combat cyber attacks as well as assist the government’s cyber crime security centre to enhance its computer technology.
According to Bangkok Post, the establishment of the unit of state-run “cyber warriors” comes about in response to a wave of cyber attacks targeting dozens of government websites last month.
Hacking group Civilians Against the Single Gateway claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were in protest to the amended Computer Crime Act. The controversial law was unanimously passed in early December and has been heavily criticised for bolstering the junta’s power to police the web and eradicate criticism.
Given this recent influx of attacks, the army is taking steps to plug the gap in their expertise.
“We don’t have enough personnel with expertise in cyber security. Therefore, we need to recruit civilians for our centre, who can manage it properly and earn a reasonable salary,” Gen Chalermchai said.
Strict background checks will be conducted on all applicants prior to being hired in order to placate fears of civilians being susceptible to recruitment from other agencies or the possibility of leaks from within the department.
Gen Chalermchai acknowledged the difficulty in tracking down hackers due to their extensive global networks. However, he said state computer systems were only affected briefly by their attacks and claimed no damage was done to important databases.
Following the attacks, the army is believed to have backed a Facebook page designed to launch a counterattack against the offending hacker group and to inform the public about the amended Computer Crime Act.
Several arrests have been made in connection to the recent spate of attacks, however details and whereabouts of the suspects remains unclear.