Dubai: The UAE government yesterday said it would begin tackling internet crime head on with the formation of a new task force. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said it is creating a UAE Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT) for the detection and prevention of cyber crime in the country. Cyber crimes have wrecked havoc in some countries in recent past, with a breakdown in IT infrastructure and resulting in loss of valuable data. « Instead of reacting to virus attacks or hackers, we’re now taking action, » a TRA spokesperson told Gulf News. Mohammad Al Ganem, TRA director-general, said the project arose out of the need to « safeguard the critical information and communication technology infrastructure residing under the government, business, and education sectors. » Details on the scale and scope of the initiative were scarce yesterday, but Al Ganem said the response team would serve as a point of contact for incident reporting in the country, and also collaborate with international cyber crime prevention organisations. aeCERT would present a « proactive and structured approach » in deterring future cyber security incidents and raise the profile of IT security in the country, he added. New laws Al Ganem also raised the prospect that the team would help draft new laws governing internet crime. « The aeCERT will, no doubt, enhance the cyber security law and assist in the creation of new laws, » he said. The move comes a month after the TRA said it discovered an internet crime ring running fake financial services sites that sought to defraud unsuspecting UAE victims. This year the government also counteracted many attacks, mainly website defacement and phishing attacks, the TRA said. Web security professionals hailed the move as a positive step forward in protecting against an increasingly global array of threats. « Anyone using the internet is vulnerable to attack if they are not using the proper protection tools, » said Patrick Hayati, regional managing director for internet security firm McAfee. « There are two ways to fight cyber crime. One is to have the right tools in place to prevent attacks, and the other is to catch the bad guys and remove them from circulation. The TRA team will help with the latter. » Hayati also expressed his desire for the new team to begin recommending guidelines to educate companies on the necessary level of threat protection.