ASEAN nations likely to sign cybersecurity deal with Russia

A draft agreement is being circulated among foreign ministers on the area of cybersecurity, the details of which is likely to be published this coming Saturday.

Following high-profile hacking attacks in Southeast Asia, nations in the region are hoping to enter into joint agreements on cybersecurity with Russia.

The draft agreement, which aims to formalize an agreement with Russia, is set to be distributed to the foreign ministers of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the close of the meetings which are underway with other global lawmakers in Singapore.

“We welcome the further strengthening [of] our cooperation in cybersecurity with Russia through the issuance of the statement of ASEAN and Russian foreign ministers on cooperation in the field of cybersecurity,” reads the draft document which is set to be published on Saturday.

Recently, Singapore, ASEAN’s current host, suffered its worst ever cyberattack with hackers stealing the personal information of 1.5 million people, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, from a government health database.

Earlier this year, Malaysia disclosed that it had disrupted a cyber heist from its central bank.

Neither Malaysia, nor Singapore have yet to publicly identify the identity of the perpetrators with neither suggesting the involvement of Russians.

In 2017, Russia appointed a dedicated Ambassador to ASEAN who is based out of Jakarta.

In March 2018, senior officials from Russia and ASEAN met in Jakarta for wide-ranging discussions on co-operation in the economic, security, political, and others fields.


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