[ISN] Cybercrime fight hampered

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Dec 24 2001 - 00:24:13 PST

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    By Wendy Levy
    Australia's police forces are looking to the private sector to help
    them in their fight with cybercrime, but so far the response has been
    patchy, according to the national Police Commissioners' Electronic
    Crimes Steering Committee.
    The chairman of the committee (and head of the WA Police),
    Commissioner Barry Matthews, said there had been an apparent lack of
    interest in the private sector.
    People discussed the latest virus or cybercrime theories, but were
    reluctant to protect their systems until they were attacked, he said.
    The banking sector had shown the greatest interest because there was
    recognition of potential vulnerabilities, but the steering committee
    had had limited success in getting prominent company heads together to
    discuss the issues and were now targeting smaller groups through
    presentations at Rotary, management seminars and so on.
    An exception was the IT World Congress, to be held in Adelaide in
    February, whose organisers had agreed readily to a special one-day
    forum on global IT security.
    "E-crime to an extent challenges the nature of sovereignty because
    it's a boundaryless activity, it requires governments to take a
    different approach," Commissioner Matthews said.
    Although new legislation helped by providing a framework for a legal
    response, partnerships with business and the wider community were
    "At the end of the day, if there's self-regulation wherever possible,
    that's better than the heavy-handed approach," he said.
    The committee had to work with the private sector to take practical
    steps to minimise the likelihood of crime.
    Then, if it did occur, it needed to be able to work with that sector
    to identify responses.
    "There's no way we have the skill sets within the police force in
    Australia to address all the issues of e-crime; we need to draw on
    [the private sector's] skill sets," he said.
    Electronic crime was an increasing challenge for the police force, the
    steering committee targeting five areas, including partnerships,
    public education and enabling different areas of government such as
    the police forces and NOIE to work together effectively.
    Each of the police forces needed to strengthen its resources and
    capacity to address electronic crime, he said.
    "We probably have about 120 tasks and have picked up just a few of
    them," he said.
    The committee was looking at the possibility of creating a national
    cybercrime centre similar to those in countries like Canada and
    "We're looking at what other countries have done; the general view is
    that they do have a centralised response and investigative
    capability," he said.
    The obvious place for such as a centre could be in Canberra, through
    the Australian Federal Police.
    The steering committee was being helped in its work by the Australian
    Centre for Policing Research, Adelaide.
    Commander Barbara Etter has been seconded from the Northern Territory
    police force to run the centre.
    She will moderate the one-day session at the IT World Congress.
    "A lot of the critical infrastructure is in the hands of the private
    sector," she said.
    "There will be a lot of attendees at the conference and we hope to
    raise awareness on their part."
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