Early warning system to protect IT infrastructure

Federal Attorney General Daryl Williams officially opened the AusCert 2002 conference on Queensland's Gold Coast on Monday pledging to tackle cyberterrorism and review information-sharing legislation to ensure confidentiality between the government and private sector.

Speaking to more than 370 delegates from 11 countries at the Asia-Pacific Information Technology Security Conference, Williams said an early warning system to protect the national information infrastructure (NII)) will be put in place as soon as possible.

He confirmed the Federal Government is negotiating a contract with AusCert to establish a national system to inform subscribers about vulnerabilities and potential threats.

This is in addition to initiatives being developed with private industry to protect NII including assessments of where vulnerabilities exist in the telecommunications, transport and public utilities sectors.

"Information security is one of the most important issues of our times, because information has become a valuable commodity; it drives economic growth," Williams said.

"To a large extent the world's development and prosperity depends on our ability to keep our information systems safe and secure. It is an issue that needs to be taken seriously because any disruption to our NII would have a damaging impact on Australia.

"Fortunately there has not been a documented case of cyberterrorism, but the potential for terrorist groups to launch an attack on our information systems is very real - and it is something that we must be prepared for."

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