[ISN] Terrorism task force looks at IT

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Apr 02 2002 - 00:11:40 PST

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    Karen Dearne
    The Australian
    THE need to safeguard Australia's largely privately-owned critical IT
    infrastructure has prompted the Federal Government to hold high-level
    talks with business leaders.
    Attorney-General Daryl Williams has formed a task force that met in
    Sydney for two days last week to discuss ways of protecting vital
    services from damage and disruption due to terrorism or natural
    The Prime Minister Mr Howard will receive a report on the talks, which
    were attended by representatives from a wide cross-section of business
    and government agencies responsible for essential public services.
    This includes all information systems necessary to support banking and
    finance services, telecommunications, transport, power and water
    "One complicating factor is that most of Australia's critical
    infrastructure is privately owned. Maintenance and protection is
    largely the responsibility of business," Mr Williams said.
    "Under the National Anti-Terrorist Plan, the states and territories
    are responsible for the protection of physical infrastructure, such as
    roads, railway lines, sea and airports, as well as many of our
    national icons such as the MCG and the Sydney Opera House."
    Mr Williams said while the Federal Government had a co-ordinating role
    on matters of national security, "it is equally clear that this
    responsibility does not rest with the Federal Government alone".
    Meanwhile, in the US, the Bush administration is establishing a
    central office to coordinate the government's response to
    US agencies have long collaborated with private corporations on
    security issues through the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection
    Center (NIPC), formed in 1998 to monitor the nation's computer systems
    controlling banking, water, power, telecommunications and government.
    The NIPC is one of several agencies to be rolled into the new
    information co-ordination centre, headed by President Bush's
    cyberspace security adviser, Richard Clarke.
    The new Homeland Security Advisory System is also well on track. It
    aims to build an effective communications structure to disseminate
    information on the risk of terrorist attack to all levels of
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