[ISN] Australia tests cyber-terrorism defences
isn at c4i.org
Fri Feb 10 02:08:20 EST 2006
Forwarded from: William Knowles <wk at c4i.org>
By Louisa Hearn
February 9, 2006
Australia is today putting its technical armoury through its paces
during a one-day exercise aimed at repelling a future cyber-terrorism
Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said the Cyberstorm exercise was aimed
at testing both the people and the processes behind Australia's key
infrastructure such as transport and emergency services.
"Complex IT systems underpin many areas of our economy and they need
to be defended," he said in a statement.
Cyberstorm is part of a larger week-long US-led scenario and is also
being run simultaneously today in Canada, the UK, and New Zealand.
A spokesman at the Attorney-General's office said the Australian test
scenario centred on a fictional group that was trying to "hack into
the transport network and disrupt it for their own political agenda".
Counter-terrorism police, computer emergency response team AusCERT and
a number of other departments are all involved in the cyber-attack
scenario alongside officials from the defence force, ASIO,
transportation and emergency services.
Unlike the US where IT defences will actually be tested out, the
Australian side of the operation is purely desk-based.
The spokesman said Australian participants were required to liaise
with one another to play out the scenario as well as other countries
involved in the exercise.
Mr Ruddock described the exercise as a key part of the Australian
Government's counter-terrorism strategy and the only way to
effectively test systems against theoretical attacks.
"Terrorists are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to attack
and disrupt our way of life. By conducting exercises such as these we
increase Australia's ability to detect, prevent and respond to cyber
attacks," Mr Ruddock said.
The exercise will physically test procedures, communication channels
and responses in the event of a cyber attack as well as international
communication protocols between countries.
The Australian part of the exercise began this morning and comes amid
a week-long exercise being run by The US Department of Homeland
It is being run here by GovCERT.au, the body that sets policy for
protecting the National Information Infrastructure.
Later in the week, participants in the US scenario will seek to
exploit technical vulnerabilities and attempt to unleash chaos onto
transport and communications systems.
"Communications without intelligence is noise; Intelligence
without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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