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Canberra crawls towards national cyber-security approach

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Australia’s federal government is about to announce its first tottering steps towards a national strategy on cyber-security. However, unlike the USA, Australia is unlikely to treat Internet-borne attacks as something demanding gunships and bombing raids as a response.

According to reports on Friday morning, government networks suffer constant attacks. A former ASIO head Dennis Richardson, now department secretary at Foreign Affairs, told a Senate Committee that attacks on his department happen on a daily basis.

In response to this escalating attack, the government is poised to spring into an action with … a policy document that is scheduled for some time in the first half of next year.

Working from an advance copy of a speech to be given by attorney-general Robert McClelland in Sydney today, Fairfax news says the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet will prepare the white paper, which will cover everything from state-sponsored attacks to “hactivist” groups like Anonymous.

This is in addition to initiatives already in place, like ASIO’s cyber security branch and the Department of Defence’s Cyber Security Operations Centre.

International Internet-borne attacks have hit the headlines again recently, with Google accusing China of launching spear phishing intrusions against Gmail accounts. China is denying the accusations. ®

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