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Assessing Cybersecurity Trends and Threats in the US and Indonesia



Public Virtual Event


March 29, 2021 (US) | March 30, 2021 (Asia)

Session 2 of the “Adapting to COVID-19: Indonesia, the United States, and the Indo-Pacific”
Virtual Forum Series

 Event Recording (English):

Selasa, 30 Maret 2021 08:30-10:00 WIB di Zoom

Seri Forum Virtual “Beradaptasi dengan COVID-19: Indonesia, Amerika Serikat, dan Wilayah Indo-Pasifik” 

Sesi 2: Asesmen Tren Keamanan Siber di Amerika Serikat dan Indonesia 

Bahasa Indonesia:


Juan Hardoy
Assistant General Counsel, Digital Crimes Unit, Microsoft

Elina Noor
Director, Political-Security Affairs & Deputy Director, Washington, DC Office, Asia Society Policy Institute

Ardi Sutedja
Chairman & Founder, Indonesian Cyber Security Forum



Juan Hardoy
Wakil Penasihat Umum, Unit Tindak Kriminal Digital, Microsoft

Elina Noor
Direktur Bidang Politik-Keamanan & Wakil Direktur Kantor Washington DC Asia Society

Ardi Sutedja
Ketua dan Pendiri Indonesian Cyber Security Forum

Key Findings

On March 29, 2021, with support from the US Embassy in Jakarta and in cooperation with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Indonesia, Pacific Forum hosted a webinar entitled “Assessing Cybersecurity Trends and Threats in the US and Indonesia,” with 124 participants from government, private sector, academia, and other non-governmental organizations. This was the second session of the virtual forum series “Adapting to COVID-19: Indonesia, the United States, and the Indo-Pacific.”

COVID-19 and cyber (in)security 

Over the course of the pandemic, the techniques, tactics and procedures used by cyber criminals have evolved. Cyber criminals have recalibrated their approaches by leveraging cloud services and exploiting the uncertainty brought by the global pandemic. Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) has identified the uptick of cyber crime activities during the pandemic classified under six categories: (1) business email compromise, (2) fraud, (3) malware, (4) ransomware, (5) child exploitation, (6) tech support fraud, and (7) business operation integrity.

Well-resourced cyber criminal syndicates launched malware attacks through armies of infected computers to profit from the socio-economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Relatedly, ransomware, a low-cost and high-profit yielding criminal activity, shifted from targeting institutions to specific individuals. Meanwhile, business email compromise has been steadily on the rise, where nefarious actors use phishing attacks to trick victims, steal important information, and redirect money into criminal bank accounts. Similarly, cyber criminals also use tech support scams amid looming financial anxieties to prey on less tech-savvy customers.

Through the DCU, Microsoft has launched various international investigations led by its team of lawyers and data analysts in collaboration with law enforcement agencies such as Interpol, Europol, and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. For instance, DCU requested the US government to issue restraining orders to repossess domains used by cyber criminals for phishing or technology-related scam campaigns. Meanwhile, to combat online child exploitation, Microsoft has provided its scanning services to help government law enforcement agencies remove online photos of child abuse. DCU has also been notifying government authorities regarding repeat offenders who are using Microsoft-related applications such as Skype.

Regional outlook on cybercrime and cyberattacks

ASEAN’s digitalization is driven by both economic and development priorities. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are considered the linchpin of most ASEAN economies and contributed 41% of the region’s overall GDP from 2010-2019. In the case of Indonesia, MSMEs comprise 97% of its economy and contribute approximately 60% to its overall GDP.

As MSMEs increasingly use the Internet, they become more exposed to cyber crime. In 2020, phishing campaigns targeting MSMEs had increased by 56% compared to the previous year. According to Kaspersky, Indonesia was the primary target of phishing attacks in Southeast Asia, accounting for the highest number of incidents at approximately 750,000. Conversely, Indonesia also suffered an enormous spike in ransomware with 1.3 million reported cases in 2020, representing almost half of the detected incidents in all of Southeast Asia.

Indonesia is also susceptible to the potential disruptions of major cyber operations that could endanger its critical national infrastructure. As financial institutions continue to be primary targets of larger cyberattacks, key stakeholders from the public and the private sector are faced with the daunting challenge of how to establish trust, coordination, and familiarity with one another through initiatives like information-sharing to forge a more resilient response.

As a region that is both geographically strategic and geo-technologically significant, the boundaries between cyber criminal activities and state-sponsored cyber operations are becoming increasingly blurred. Geopolitical clashes bleeding into cyberspace present new risks and vulnerabilities, especially with the region’s lagging technical and human capacity in cybersecurity.

US-Indonesia: Avenues for cooperation in cyberspace

The impact of cyberattacks encompasses physical and economical damage, psychological trauma, and security posture weakness.

To mitigate such negative effects, six areas should be prioritized: organizational readiness, situational awareness/intelligence, cyber defense, detection, mitigation and containment, and recovery. Given that MSMEs are the central engine of Indonesia’s economy, the government must undertake steps to raise awareness and strengthen their cyber defenses. Through the US-Indonesia strategic partnership, avenues for capacity building that emphasize MSMEs must be explored.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution against cyber crime, so the US and Indonesia must continue to strengthen public-private partnerships and raise education and awareness through academia and civil society organizations to disrupt cyber criminals. Government agencies can use economic incentives to promote cooperation between larger enterprises and MSMEs, where the former can help the latter in the provision of cybersecurity. Such an arrangement can help bolster the overall cyber resiliency of the business community.

As the likelihood of hybrid warfare — which includes the use of cyber capabilities and kinetic means — continues to increase, there is an urgent need to discuss possible and acceptable countermeasures within the remit of international law. As members of the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on advancing responsible state behavior in cyberspace in the context of international security, the US and Indonesia are well-entrenched in the application of cyber norms and international law in cyberspace. They can provide support toward regional and practical efforts to initiate a Track-2 dialogue in Southeast Asia which eventually can be elevated to Track 1 to address the enormous challenges in cyberspace faced by the entire region.

This document was prepared by Mark Manantan and Daniel Mitchum. For more information, please contact Dr. Crystal Pryor ([email protected]), Director of Nonproliferation, Technology, and Fellowships at Pacific Forum. These preliminary findings provide a general summary of the discussion. This is not a consensus document. The views expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of all participants. The speakers have approved this summation of their presentation.

Deskripsi Program

Acara webinar ini akan berfokus kepada tren-tren regional terkini terkait isu keamanan siber. Sejak awal pandemik COVID-19, Amerika Serikat dan Asia Tenggara mengalami peningkatan tingkat kriminalitas siber. COVID-19 digunakan untuk menyebarkan disinformasi dan juga sebagai modus kejahatan finansial misalnya tautan spam, kerentanan surel bisnis (business email compromise/BEC), malware, ransomware, dan situs internet yang rawan ancaman virus dan sebagainya. Di Amerika Serikat dan Asia Tenggara, serangan menggunakan ransomware telah menyasar fasilitas-fasilitas di berbagai sektor misalnya kesehatan, pendidikan, transportasi, dan manufaktur. Serangan-serangan terkini juga telah menyasar infrastruktur kritis di tataran global seperti rumah sakit dan laboratorium riset vaksin COVID-19.

Di Indonesia, Badan Siber dan Sandi Negara (BSSN) mencatat bahwa pada periode Januari – Agustus 2020 terjadi 190 juta percobaan tindak kriminal siber di Indonesia, empat kali lipat lebih banyak dibandingkan yang terjadi pada periode yang sama tahun sebelumnya. Ke depannya, sangat penting bagi Indonesia untuk membangun dan menjaga lingkungan siber agar senantiasa strategis dan kondusif, memastikan infrastruktur siber nasional tetap terjamin keamanan dan keterjagaannya, mendorong inovasi siber agar lebih kompetitif, dan terus mendorong meningkatnya kesadaran dan kepekaan terhadap isu-isu keamanan dan ketahanan nasional di lanskap siber. Sesi ini akan membahas tren-tren terkini mengenai keamanan siber terkait infrastruktur nasional, meningkatnya kekerasan siber dalam konteks Kenormalan Baru, dan mengupas potensi kerja sama yang lebih erat antara AS dan Indonesia di bidang ini.

About this Series

The U.S.-Indonesia bilateral relationship is one of substantial depth and has evolved over time to reflect the changing priorities of each country. The U.S. and Indonesia entered into a Comprehensive Partnership in 2010 that initiated consistent high-level engagement on various issues spanning democracy and civil society, education, security, resilience, and mitigation. The relationship was further upgraded in 2015 with the signing of the US-Indonesia Strategic Partnership, which expanded the cooperation into various issues that have regional and global significance.

At the turn of a new decade, our countries are both at a crossroads: confronting a highly volatile political, economic, and security environment in the midst of an international health crisis.

To this end, Pacific Forum is proud to launch the virtual series “Adapting to COVID-19: Indonesia, the United States and the Indo-Pacific,” with support from the US Embassy in Jakarta. Pacific Forum will collaborate with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies Indonesia (CSIS Indonesia) throughout this series.

The nine-part virtual series will address broad, cross-cutting issues that impact both countries: emerging security issues, COVID-19, regional and bilateral trade and investment, and democracy and civil society. It will feature American and Indonesian experts with diverse yet complementary backgrounds to examine the trajectory of US-Indonesia relations in the new normal.

Latar Belakang

Hubungan bilateral AS-Indonesia adalah hubungan yang mendalam dan telah berevolusi seiring waktu untuk merefleksikan perubahan prioritas masing-masing negara. AS dan Indonesia memasuki Kemitraan Komprehensif (Comprehensive Partnership) pada tahun 2010 yang memulai kerja sama tingkat tinggi secara konsisten di berbagai isu yang mencakup demokrasi dan masyarakat sipil, pendidikan, keamanan, ketahanan, dan mitigasi. Hubungan ini ditingkatkan lebih lanjut pada tahun 2015 melalui penandatanganan Kerja Sama Strategis (Strategic Partnership) AS-Indonesia, yang memperluas kerja sama ini ke berbagai isu yang memiliki signifikansi regional dan global.

Memasuki dekade baru ini, kedua negara kita ada di persimpangan jalan, menghadapi lingkungan politik, ekonomi, dan keamanan yang tidak stabil di tengah-tengah sebuah krisis kesehatan internasional.

Maka dari itu, Pacific Forum dengan bangga meluncurkan seri virtual “Beradaptasi dengan COVID-19: Indonesia, Amerika Serikat, dan Wilayah Indo-Pasifik”, dengan dukungan dari Kedutaan Besar AS di Jakarta. Pacific Forum akan bekerja sama dengan Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) sepanjang seri virtual ini.

Seri virtual sembilan-bagian ini akan menjawab isu-isu yang luas yang berdampak ke kedua negara: isu-isu keamanan yang muncul, COVID-19, perdagangan dan investasi regional dan bilateral, serta demokrasi dan masyarakat sipil. Seri ini akan melibatkan pakar-pakar Amerika dan Indonesia dengan latar belakang yang beragam namun saling melengkapi untuk mengupas alur hubungan AS-Indonesia di dalam new normal.

This series is held with support from the US Embassy Jakarta and
in collaboration with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies Indonesia.

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