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National Cyber and Information Security Agency


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Selected News

The Czech Republic joins Joint Statement Endorsing Principles for 6G

The Czech Republic has joined nine foreign partners in Joint Statement Endorsing Principles for 6G: Secure, Open & Resilient by Design. The statement defines shared principles for the research and development of 6G wireless communications systems to deepen cooperation on 6G secure and resilient connectivity.

The joint declaration mentions, among others, the protection of individuals' data and sustainable and affordable connectivity. It also emphasizes the trustworthiness of the suppliers of the technologies that are part of 6G networks, which the National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NÚKIB) has long advocated for. In addition, the statement was published almost five years after the so-called Prague Proposals on 5G network security, initiated by NÚKIB and released after the Prague 5G Security Conference in May 2019. In addition to NÚKIB, the United States, Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have joined the statement.

You can find a Joint Statement here.

The National Cyber and Information Security Agency will help with cybersecurity during the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship

The National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NÚKIB) will cooperate with the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship 2024 to ensure cybersecurity. This comes from a memorandum signed by the Director of NÚKIB, Lukáš Kintr, and President of the Czech Ice Hockey Association (from now on CIHA), Alois Hadamczik. The championship will be hosted by Prague and Ostrava this May.

The memorandum outlines the principles of activity and cooperation between NÚKIB and the CIHA during the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship 2024. In practice, this will mean that the ice hockey federation will determine the group of services necessary to ensure the running of the championship, and NÚKIB will then provide support and cooperation. If a cyber incident occurs during the Championships, NÚKIB will actively assist in dealing with it.

"Several great athletes and their supporters will descend on the Czech Republic, and the event will attract much attention. It needs to be consistently guarded, even in cyberspace. That is why we are glad we can participate in such an important sporting event and contribute our expertise to its successful course," says Lukáš Kintr, the Director of NÚKIB.

CIHA President Alois Hadamczik also welcomes the cooperation: “Safety for all participants of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship 2024 - from teams and management to fans in individual arenas - is one of the priorities of the Organizing Committee. I am delighted that we could cooperate with the National Cyber and Information Security Agency. Together, we will do our utmost to ensure the cybersecurity of the championships in Prague and Ostrava."

The IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will be held in the Czech Republic for the third time. It will follow the 2004 and 2015 championships. Moreover, the 2015 event has a historical record for attendance (741,690 people). According to some estimates, this year's attendance may also approach or surpass the 700,000 spectators supporting their national teams from sixteen countries. This is the first time for NÚKIB to collaborate on such a large-scale sporting event.

NÚKIB was established in 2017 by separating from the National Security Authority. It currently employs approximately 350 people. NÚKIB is responsible for the cybersecurity of the Czech Republic, including protecting classified information in the field of information and communication systems and cryptographic protection. In addition to setting the conditions for the mandatory entities covered by the Act on Cyber Security, it also educates the public in the field of cyber security. It cooperates in the development of legislation within the European Union.

Twelve Key Governmental Entities Convened to Tackle the Threat of Ransomware in the Czech Republic

At the end of January, the inaugural meeting of the inter-agency working group to combat ransomware took place, initiated by the National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NÚKIB) in collaboration with the National Center Against Terrorism, Extremism, and Cybercrime (NCTEKK) of the Czech Police.

Representatives from 12 governmental authorities crucial to the fight against ransomware, both within and outside the security community, participated in the initial meeting of the working group. A representative from an entity that had previously faced a ransomware attack presented their experiences to the participants.

The newly formed working group draws on insights from the International Counter Ransomware Initiative, of which the Czech Republic has been a part since 2021. It will closely collaborate in overcoming challenges related to effectively combating ransomware. These challenges encompass not only technical aspects but also criminal, financial, organizational, and international facets that need to be addressed. "One of the goals of this working group is to fully leverage the competencies of relevant governmental stakeholders, strengthen mutual cooperation, and establish a unified strategic approach to the ransomware threat," stated Pavel Štěpáník, Deputy Director of NÚKIB who also represented the Czech Republic during the third International Counter Ransomware Summit in Washington DC (see here).

Ransomware generally refers to a type of attack where attackers typically encrypt and exfiltrate data from the targeted entity, demanding ransom for decryption or the return of stolen data. Often, attackers may publicly disclose or sell some of this data. Ransomware has long been considered one of the most serious cyber threats in the Czech Republic and abroad, with the expectation that this trend will continue. "In recent years, the state has been introducing new technologies into a significant part of its services, and one of the most serious consequences of ransomware attacks could be undermining public trust in these new digital services," noted Jiří Nový, Deputy Director for Cybercrime at NCTEKK, adding, "In the fight against the ransomware threat, emphasis is now necessary on prevention rather than punitive measures."

It is a fact that attackers often conduct their attacks from abroad, utilizing sophisticated tools to ensure a high level of anonymity. Therefore, it is essential to establish a national platform where conceptual solutions for combating the ransomware threat, including strengthening collaboration with international partners, can be developed. For this purpose, the working group plans to meet regularly several times a year.

New Memorandum to Strengthen Cyber Security Cooperation between the Czech Republic and Israel

The Director of the National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NUKIB) Lukáš Kintr, and the Director General of the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) Gaby Portnoy, met in the "cyber capital of Israel" Beer Sheva. Lukáš Kintr visited Israel as a member of the delegation of Czech President Petr Pavel.

Besides the two directors, the signature of the Memorandum was attended by Czech President Petr Pavel. The document represents a further step towards strengthening relations between the two countries in cybersecurity. Initially, the Memorandum was planned to be signed in October 2023 in Prague on the occasion of the intergovernmental meeting between the Czech Republic and Israel. However, this did not take place due to the unprecedented attack by the terrorist organization Hamas on the State of Israel on 7 October 2023 and the subsequent war. The signing of this document at this time further symbolizes the mutual support and willingness to cooperate. Lukáš Kintr and Gaby Portnoy discussed among others, current threats in the cyber space caused by the war and related challenges for cyber security. Furthermore, both directors appreciated the level of cooperation and stressed the importance of working tightly together to increase cyber resilience and expand capabilities.

"The signing of the Memorandum is a natural development of the long-standing cooperation between the two institutions. Israel is one of the first countries where a Czech cyber attaché was sent. Thanks to his presence, we have been able to maximize the long-term benefits of cooperation with INCD, an internationally respected institution and leader in the field, which is behind the building of a unique, comprehensive system to ensure cybersecurity in Israel,” said Lukáš Kintr, director of NÚKIB, and added: “It was interesting to hear today what challenges the INCD faces in times of war and how it is trying to prevent cyberspace from becoming its next full-fledged battleground. The signature of the Memorandum will enable even closer cooperation between experts from both institutions, including effective sharing of information and experience, for example internships. I appreciate the professional approach of my colleagues from INCD and all the cooperation so far, and I look forward to its further development."

„Our collaboration, particularly during times of conflict, has not only strengthened our mutual relationship but also showcased the resilience of our partnership. In the face of shared threats, this Memorandum of Cooperation reaffirms our commitment to standing together, leveraging technology, and fostering cybersecurity awareness as we navigate the evolving landscape of the digital world. This alliance is not just a testament to diplomatic ties; it is a strategic alliance for safeguarding our collective security and embracing a future of technological resilience,“ said Gaby Portnoy, director general of INCD.

The cooperation in the field of cyber security dates back to 2013, when the contact between two agencies was established. Since then, cyber security has been a crucial part in the relations between the Czech Republic and the State of Israel. In addition, strategic dialogue and expert discussion are taking place between the two agencies. That provides an opportunity for both sides to exchange best practices in all areas of cyber security and, last but not least, to share important information.