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Government admits state websites were hacked

Published:Tuesday | December 16, 2014 | 12:00 AM

The Government has acknowledged that some of its websites have been targeted by computer hackers over the past three weeks.

Yesterday Dr Andrew Wheatley, opposition spokesman on information communication technologies, claimed at least 15 government websites have been the targets of cyber criminals.

In response, Julian Robinson, the junior minister in the technology ministry, said only 10 of the Government's websites had been infiltrated.

Robinson, however, withheld information on the source of the attacks, saying it could compromise an ongoing investigation.

Notwithstanding, Robinson sought to assure that the Jamaican authorities were working to address the situation.

The junior minister also downplayed criticisms by the Opposition that the public should have been made aware of the attacks.

He said the situation highlights that Jamaica is exposed to cyber attacks as are more technologically advanced countries in the world.

The recent cases were not the first time the Government's websites have been hacked.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is among those which have been hacked in the past.

According to the Opposition, the Government must immediately enact recent recommendations for amendments to the Cybercrimes Act and finalise a national cyber security strategy.

The Cybercrimes Act was passed in Parliament in 2010, to provide criminal sanctions in relation to the misuse of electronic systems.