Many young people in the Czech Republic and Slovakia are extremely vulnerable to the risks of internet communication. According to the outcome of a survey conducted by Seznam.cz, Google and Vodafone more than 50 percent of respondents between the ages of 11 and 17 were invited to go to a meeting with someone they only knew over the Internet. Forty percent of Czech kids who received such an invitation and 42 percent of Slovak kids went to the meeting. None of them told their parents and only three percent of them told a friend. Eight percent of Czech and Slovak children put intimate pictures of themselves online.
President Miloš Zeman on Wednesday signed into law a bill on cyber security, a spokesman for the president said. The legislation, put forward by the National Security Authority, introduces rules for cooperation between the public and private sectors in preventing IT attacks. The act establishes a coordination centre to allow fast response to attacks by communications providers; it requires providers to report security incidents to the National Security Authority, and gives the agency the authority to declare nation-wide state of cyber emergency. The legislation will enter into force in January 2015.
Czech Police President Tomáš Tuhý has said he will present plans for a new cybernetic police unit by the end of the year. He made the statement on a Sunday TV debate programme. According to the police president, while police specialists were currently successfully combatting internet crime, in the future they required their own crime unit or risk falling behind hackers. It is unknown what the new unit could cost. Police President Tuhý repeated that he would be asking for a budget increase of three billion crowns for next year. The new unit could become operational by 2016.
The lower house of the Czech Parliament on Wednesday approved a bill introducing new guidelines for countering cybernetic attacks. The bill, first of its kind to be passed by the lower house, should streamline cooperation between the public and private sectors, and establish a coordinating agency to ensure a fast response to such attacks. The legislation will also require telecommunication providers to report security incidents that occur in their networks, and allow the country’s National Security Authority to declare a state of cyber emergency. The bill is yet to be debated in the Senate.
This Tuesday saw the opening of the country’s National Security Centre in Brno. The new headquarters, sited in a former army building and operated by the National Security Authority, is tasked with gathering information and preventing possible cybernetic attacks against state institutions and offices, even utilities.
A proposed bill on cyber security was approved by the lower house in its first reading on Friday. The bill sets a framework for cooperation between the private sector and public administration in the prevention of attacks on information and communication technology. The proposed legislation drafted by the National Security Office aims to secure a faster and more effective response to cyber threats at all levels. Providers of electronic communication and some administrators of information infrastructure are obliged to report any security incident in their networks and systems to the National Security Office without delay.
Czech internet providers have joined forces in order to increase their protection against DoS hacking attacks, one of the providers involved in the project said. The alliance, entitled Safe VLAN, will provide connection to its members facing attacks to ensure their services remain available to clients. Six major providers, including CZ.NIC, Dial Telecom, Seznam.cz and Telefónica Czech Republic have joined the project so far.
Prague’s Bulovka hospital suffered a cyber attack on Wednesday night. A spokesperson said the hospital’s patients’ data base was not violated but the central information system was switched off for close to 8 hours, necessitating the transfer of some cases to other hospitals. The hospital has filed a criminal complaint against unknown culprits.
Czech Post has warned people about emails that look like notifications of package pick-ups, but actually carry a Trojan horse virus. Customers are advised not to open the emails and delete them. Czech Post’s spokesman said that this is the second time a similar virus attack has taken place in the past two weeks and that this may be an attempt to discredit the postal service. The company has filed a legal complaint against an unknown perpetrator.
The official website of the Czech Republic’s state secondary school-leaving exams has come under a hacking attack, four days before the exams are scheduled, the government agency responsible for the exams said. The attack, described as DDoS, has prevented students from accessing trial test available on the website, the agency said, adding it was impossible to say when the website would be functioning again.