[ISN] File breach prompts call for inquiry

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Tue Aug 9 04:46:53 EDT 2005


By Mathew Murphy
August 9, 2005

An industry group has called for a public inquiry into the way
confidential information is handled, saying the disclosure of hundreds
of police files by the Office of Police Integrity is just the "tip of
the iceberg".

The Australian Computer Society said computer security was the missing
link in the debate surrounding increased national security. It said it
was "frighteningly easy" to obtain information.

Karl Reed, from the society's Victorian branch, said an inquiry should
look at who had access to confidential information and how it was

"We have sat and watched these things happen for 18 months now," he
said, "so this problem doesn't just exist (in the OPI). It exists in a
number of organisations. Let's do something, as we would in another
public infrastructure failure, to see both what actually went wrong
and what is the best practice for fixing it."

Mr Reed, an associate professor in computer science at La Trobe
University, said information technology graduates across the country
had next to no knowledge about handling secure information.

He said training needed to be part of tertiary courses and

"We also need the creation of a major research centre that would focus
on the issues of privacy and security in a modern technological
society," he said.

ACS national president Edward Mandla said technological security
needed to be tightened and a move must be made towards stopping
computer users giving away their user names and passwords too freely.

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