http://www.smh.com.au/news/0107/27/biztech/biztech16.html By Kirsty Needham Friday, July 27, 2001 The hacker group 2600 has told a Senate committee the Federal Government's proposed Cybercrime Bill will fail to achieve the desired result and Australia would be better off to provide computer training to police officers. The Cybercrime Bill was introduced to Parliament last month and intends to cover new crimes such as hacking, denial-of-service attacks, the spreading of computer viruses and Web site vandalism. But 2600 said it would also threaten people who discovered computer security risks with prosecution. The local chapter of 2600, which describes itself as a collection of people interested in technology security but is best known as part of an international hacker group, wrote in its submission that it was common for so-called "ethical hackers" to identify and inform the public about major security faults. It gave the example of a hacking vulnerability in the password software used by Internet Service Providers. Another would be a man's claims on radio last week that the Commonwealth Bank's Internet banking system was insecure. The Australian Computer Society has also raised concerns about the Bill, which it says confers broad powers on ASIO and potentially makes criminal offences of innocuous computer activities. 2600 said another approach would be to shake off what it said was Australia's apathy towards computer security and provide IT training to police officers to investigate crimes when they occurred. "It might sound a little odd coming from us. But we think the more people know about IT, they then might understand we are not always the bad guys," said 2600 spokesman Mr Grant Bayley. Debate on the Bill comes as Australia experiences a rise in computer crime and State and Federal police forces continue to face an IT "brain drain". The executive officer of the Australian Centre for Policing Research, and chair of an Interpol working party on IT crime, Mr Des Berwick, said there were about 40 trained computer crime officers across Australia, "depending on how the poaching is going". An APCR report found that, on average, one-third of these officers resign each year, many to join private consultancies where their combination of IT and policing skills are highly prized. Mr Berwick said there was a pressing need for Australia's police forces to increase the pool of computer crime experts to the "hundreds". However, a major project initiated three years ago to train police officers in computing skills is yet to be endorsed by police commanders or receive a budget. In the meantime, some investigations are being outsourced to the private sector, raising issues of confidentiality. "The NSW Police Service is using external computer forensic consultants to meet the ever-increasing demand for computer forensic and investigation services," said Inspector Brad Shepherd of the NSW Police. "The response time, cost, confidentiality and legality of external consultants are factors always under consideration." - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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