Private sector, academia, IBM join forces to fight online fraud

Alliance creates $4 million security lab

Westpac Bank, IBM, the University of Ballarat and the Victorian government have today entered into a $4 million research alliance to tackle cybercrime in online banking.

The alliance has led to the formation of the Internet Commerce Security Laboratory (ICSL) which will draw on knowledge from experts in Westpac, IBM, the university and the government to identify security best practices and develop new security solutions.

The ICSL, situated in the university grounds, will examine attacker and malware profiling, forensic imaging, public key infrastructure (PKI) encryption, fraud detection systems, identity theft advisory and recovery services, and end user education.

University of Ballarat vice chancellor professor David Battersby said the results from the ISCL will have "international significance" in strengthening security measures for online business, particularly in the financial sector.

"The projected budget for the laboratory over the first five years will be about $4 million, with funding provided by partner organizations," Battersby said.

"The laboratory will develop an ongoing capability to tackle the global challenge of Internet fraud, Internet security and identity management.

"We aim to establish an international reputation for the provision of cutting edge solutions in Internet security and fraud, as well as provide a world-class training environment for ICT post-graduate researchers."

The project is jointly sponsored by the four bodies and received $1 million in funds from the Victorian government, which Battersby said will cover start-up costs and ongoing operational expenses over the initial three years.

The ICSL will be part of the university's Centre for Informatics and Applied Optimization within the School of IT and Mathematical Sciences.

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