Indonesian Army Sets Cyber Unit for Hybrid War

Arfi Bambani
TNI Commander General Andika Perkasa. (ANTARA)
TNI Commander General Andika Perkasa. (ANTARA) - The Indonesian National Armed Forces has built a cyber security network in 43 work units under the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) Headquarters as an early anticipation of hybrid warfare threat. The construction of the cyber security network is to improve the cyber defense of the TNI and anticipate various digital threats as well as to support the work of the military incident response team.

This team, said TNI Commander General Andika Perkasa, was formed as a result of collaboration between TNI Headquarters and the National Cyber and Crypto Agency (BSSN). Last Monday, April 4, 2022, the TNI Commander and his staff heard directly from PT Len Industri (Persero) regarding cybersecurity networks/systems.

Limited Liability Company (PT) Len Industri is a state-owned company engaged in, among others, telecommunications networks and electronics for defense. In front of the Commander in Chief, a representative from PT Len conveyed how the cyber security system works, such as closed-circuit television (CCTV) which monitors the traffic of TNI cyber activity, anticipates attack attempts, and predicts possible attacks.

He also explained that the construction of the TNI cyber security network began with the establishment of a security operation center (SOC) which would later be under the control of the TNI Cyber Unit (Satsiber). The TNI Satsiber uses the SOC tool to analyze attempted attacks, hacking actions, and other digital attacks.

This cyber unit will also receive information about cyberattacks or attempted cyber-attacks through detection devices that are planned to be installed in 11 TNI work units in Jakarta and Bandung. Information and data from the detection tool are sent to the TNI Satsiber through a special encrypted path (VPN).

The commander sees the need for a special room for the operation of the TNI's cybersecurity network. General TNI Andika Perkasa asked PT Len as a partner to provide technicians who are always on standby in the control center during the maintenance warranty period of 42 months.

Cyber Threat Antidote

Regarding the TNI plan, cyber security expert Dr. Pratama Persadha speaks up. According to him, the TNI should have the ability to deal with cyber threats. In the all-digital era, attacks from inside and outside are effective through cyberspace.

The TNI as the main element of national defense must participate in updating what are serious threats to the country, in this case, cyber threats. There are at least two kinds of serious threats, cyber warfare and information warfare. Currently, the hybrid warfare concept has been born, which is a combination of cyber warfare and information warfare.

The threat of cyber-war requires the TNI to prepare human resources (HR) and infrastructure that supports cyber security. Even though the National Cyber and Crypto Agency (BSSN) already exists, the TNI still has the task of securing infrastructure assets, data, and human resources from massive manipulation and data theft.

Persadha then gave an example of the Sony hacking case and the attack on important Ukrainian infrastructure. This case opened the public's eyes to how modern war is now happening.

The TNI has a big responsibility. However, there must first be cyber security capabilities within the TNI, then expand the TNI's capabilities in dealing with cyber-war situations. In the war in Ukraine, for example, before the Russian military entered, critical infrastructure was paralyzed and the public was faced with issues on social media.

Modern wars no longer rely solely on weapons but on mastery of digital information channels, such as social media and cyber-infrastructure security. This is something absolute.

Strengthening the human resources and cyber-infrastructure of the TNI must keep pace with regulatory developments in the country, starting from understanding the law (UU), technical mastery, to training cooperation with foreign institutions. At a minimum, said the Chairman of the Indonesian Cyber Research Institute CISSReC Pratama Persadha, the public needs to see how the TNI is prepared to face the threat of cyber-war, of course, this requires simulation and joint training.

Moreover, other countries have been very serious about strengthening their military bodies. The Malaysian military, for example, has been strengthening the military since 2013 to deal with cyber attacks. The peak was in 2016, they claimed the Malaysian military has been ready in terms of systems, human resources, and technical capabilities.

Not too late

It is never too late to build cyber defense capabilities within the TNI. Moreover, many children of this nation can help, even domestic technology also exists, as long as the state uses it. The point is that building cyber power in the TNI must be based on the trust of fellow nationals so that they do not become victims of foreign exploitation because they use foreign technology a lot.

Postgraduate lecturers at the State Intelligence College (STIN) Pratama Persadha saw the need for the TNI to improve its cadre system to produce the best cyber human resources.

TNI needs human resources who understand analysis, defense, attack, and also have an understanding of how to build systems within the TNI. Each dimension also urgently needs reliable human resources, for example for monitoring and intelligence activities in the cyber area.

Thus, the most important strategy now is human resources. This can be in parallel with building infrastructure. Without reliable human resources, all this cyber-infrastructure will be in vain.

In essence, the TNI needs a cyber team in every branch and a cyber command center in the TNI. Therefore, each TNI branch is building its cyber center. Hopefully in the next few years, it can increase the capacity of the TNI in the cyber area.

Tag # indonesian national armed forces # indonesia military # indonesia cyber security # indonesia cyber defense

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