By Dennis Adonis
WILLEMSTAD, Curacao — Citing renewed evidence that cyber terrorists and hackers are now heavily targeting the Caribbean region, a three-man team of ethical hackers and cyber security trainers are expected to fly into the Netherlands Antilles next month to hold a two-day training workshop in Curacao, Aruba, and Bonaire to better prepare those countries to deal with the threat.
The training program, which is part of a Caribbean-wide cyber security project, will also include similar workshops in The Bahamas, St Kitts, Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands and Bermuda among others. However, the Dutch Caribbean Islands of Curacao, Aruba, and Bonaire will lead that list for the month of June, with St Maarten and several others being scheduled for August.
The three-member team, which is made up of a retired FBI trained cyber security and ethical hacking specialist, a Caribbean-based attorney on cyber laws, and a regional ethical hacker, who also works as a technology writer, has successfully held similar training programs in other jurisdictions.
In an earlier interview with the Los Angeles Post-Examiner, head of the team Michael Denny had explained that cyber security incidents in the Caribbean are more widespread than is actually known. He was at the time referring to a major cyber attack in The Bahamas, which saw some government websites being manipulated by Islamist hackers.
As for Curacao, Aruba and Bonaire, he indicated that they are not immune either to these types of threats, and must be engaged in continuous training exercises in order to stay ahead of potential hackers.
The ethical hacking and cyber security program offered by Denny and his team usually helps companies and countries to create a stronger cyber security interception and response unit. Upon completion of the program, participants are empowered with greater knowledge on the various advanced forms of cyber security threats, and are also able to identify, intercept, remove, destroy, deter or block such security threats via advanced ethical hacking and technological engineering techniques.
The ethical hackers and cyber security training program is scheduled to be held at the University of Curacao on June 8 and 9, and at the University of Aruba on June 11 and 12, 2015.
Several major technology companies in Curacao are also widely expected to be a part of the forum, which will also see the subsequent establishment of a Netherlands Antilles Ethical Hackers and Cyber Security Society.
Attendance is free, but all participants must be registered in advance to be admitted. An ethical hackers software suite and reference guidebook may be required for those who were unable to obtain sponsored copies.
While the Caribbean has a team of qualified programmers and cyber security analysts, many in the industry are of the view that the region is not properly equipped to independently deal with real covert and brutal cyber attacks from terrorist groups such as Hezbollah or ISIS or from other countries such as Iran, Russia and China, all of whom are known to maintain well trained cyber armies.