[ISN] Hackers call for police training

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Jul 27 2001 - 02:18:25 PDT

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    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
    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
    "The response time, cost, confidentiality and legality of external
    consultants are factors always under consideration."
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