http://news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,4357009%255E421,00.html By GREG THOM 21may02 AUSTRALIA has a higher level of computer crime than the US, with losses of almost $5.8 million over the past year. More than 67 per cent of companies and organisations polled in the 2002 Australian Computer Crime and Security Survey reported being attacked - twice the 1999 level and 7 per cent higher than the US. Further, 35 per cent of the 300 companies and groups asked have been hit six or more times. The study, the only one of its kind in the country, is a snapshot of Australian computer crime and security trends. It found the areas of greatest financial impact were data or network sabotage, virus infection, computer fraud and theft of laptop computers. The survey showed: FORTY-THREE per cent of Australian organisations were prepared to hire ex-computer hackers to deal with security issues -- three times the US number. THE most cited barriers to improving security were changing user attitudes (60 per cent), followed by management of software upgrades and software bug patches. MORE than 70 per cent of Australian organisations have increased the amount of money spent on information security over the past year, in response to growing concerns or incidents. The report was an effort by the NSW Police, AusCERT (Australian Computer Emergency Response Team) and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Deloitte IT Security Consulting head Dean Kingsley said the survey showed the number of computer security breaches was not only growing rapidly, but the source and nature of the attacks were changing. For the first time, external security breaches have been identified as the greatest risk to companies, thanks largely to the rise in electronic commerce and computer networking between businesses. "Also alarming is the rapid increase in financial loss experienced," Mr Kingsley said. "Although organisations find it difficult to estimate the broader financial losses associated with computer security incidents, it is clear computer crime is no longer just nuisance value, but a serious threat to customer relationships and ultimately bottom line profitability." AusCERT general manager Graham Ingram said numbers of organisations with computer security problems seeking advice on how to respond was growing. "Organisations are struggling to deal with what are critical and complex issues in an environment which is rapidly changing," Mr Ingram said. - 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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