[LINK] ACS Political Manifesto

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Thu Mar 24 11:36:32 AEDT 2011

Greetings from the Australian Computer Society Canberra Branch 
conference at the Canberra Hyatt <http://www.acsconference.org.au/>.

Brice Lakin, ACS CEO, presented the "ACS Political Manifesto" which 
included having an ICT cabinet portfolio, the use of broadband for 
boosting the economy, promotion of skills with work integrated learning. 
In answer to a question Bruce pointed that ACS hosts the Australian 
Council of Deans of ICT to help promote education.

The next speaker was Detective Superintendent Brad Marden, Australian 
Federal Police, talking about cyber security. He asked who in the 
audience had contact with the AFP or other cyber security services. 
Several of the audience related their experiences. Superintendent Marden 
pointed out that in past decades most cases investigated were about 
insiders in organsations misusing their organisation's systems. Today 
the major issue is intrusion from the outside. The AFP cyber staff are a 
mixture of computer security experts and traditional police. One team 
concentrates on banking and financial cyber crime. He made the point 
that those attacking financial systems are professional criminals 
motivated by greed, not teenagers out for thrills. Other teams 
infiltrate online criminal groups. He is up-skilling the organisation to 
cope with new developments, such as smart phones.

The AFP investigates crimes under Criminal code Part 10-7. This 
prohibits unauthorised access and destruction of data on government 
computers and telecommunications networks.  When Australia adopts the 
European Convention on Cyber-crime this will help sharing data on crime.

Apart from catching criminals, the AFP also helps the community prevent 
crime. Superintendent Marden claimed that the major threat to computer 
security is staff in an organisation inadvertently giving out sensitive 
information. He gave the example of social engineering, where the 
criminal induces the staff member to give away their password without 
realising they are doing it.

Some "botnets" now have multi-gigabit per second traffic flows. This 
allows an attacker to flood a target system and disable access to it. 
Rather than wait for this to happen, the AFP would prefer to find out 
who has this capability beforehand and prevent it happening.

Superintendent Marden mentioned the group "anonymous" which is 
effectively leaderless. Interestingly the group was selling masks (like 
the mask Hugo Weaving wore in the movie "V for Vendetta"). He commented 
that such groups are something society has to come to terms with. People 
have the rght to peaceful protest, but not throw rocks through windows.

Superintendent Marden mentioned that 4G smart phones will present a 
threat to computer networks as they have considerable processing 
capacity and bandwidth.

"Think You Know" is an information program online to educate the public.
Superintendent Marden mentioned that there was work under way to provide 
one place to report cyber-crime and the matter would be referred to the 
relevant agency.

ps: I missed the conference opening address. This is usually made by a 
senior politician from the governing party. Interesting this year it was 
from Senator Scott Ludiam, from the Australian Greens.

More posts from the conference a: 

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science, The
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/
Visiting Scientist, CSIRO ICT Centre: http://bit.ly/csiro_ict_canberra

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