http://news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,3852567^15306,00.html Ian Grayson and Deborah Bogle The Australian 27feb02 AUSTRALIAN companies are on notice - it's just a matter of time before they face attacks from cyber terrorists that could cause millions of dollars in losses. Whether it's the theft of customer information, network break-ins or malicious computer viruses, online criminals are out to cause as much destruction as possible. However, experts warn Australia is woefully under-prepared for such threats. Technical deterrents and legislation need to be rapidly improved. South Australian police commissioner Mal Hyde told delegates at the World Congress on IT in Adelaide that the legal framework was incapable of dealing with the types of computer-based crimes that were now becoming prevalent. "We are being pushed into living our lives online and so you come to depend (on computers)," he said. However, the laws had not kept pace with technology. He said the anonymity provided by the internet allowed criminals to conduct fraudulent transactions, steal identities and launch attacks against companies and public infrastructure with little chance of the police catching up with them. Retired FBI agent and self-styled futurist Bill Tafoya told delegates the global cost of cyber crime and cyber terrorism had already reached trillions of dollars, but most incidents went unreported. So far, most of the attacks had come from amateur operators, but this would inevitably change as organised crime groups focused more of their efforts towards online activities. If you put the right skill set together, you could do significant damage, he told the conference. It was only a matter of time before it happened. He cited a recent example from the US where an organised crime group hacked into a hospital computer system and administered a fatal dose of drugs to a patient. Law enforcement agencies were well placed to deal with traditional crimes but struggled when faced with this type of new threat. Director of Global Law Enforcement Programs with EDS Bill Bogart said companies had to be mindful of how much attacks against their IT infrastructure could cost. He said a company such as US computer manufacturer Dell conducted more than $US40 million of business a day on the internet. The cost of an outage in their IT systems could be measured in millions of dollars per hour. - 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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