Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Warning of Cyber Storm from Australian Cyber Security Minister

Greetings from the National Press Club in Canberra, where Dan Tehan MP, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security is describing a 'A Cyber Storm'. He is outlining a scenario where a virus introduced to critical systems shuts down the electricity grid, causing widespread deaths and injury. He described this as a "real and present threat". The minister suggested that government, industry and the public can address this threat together. The minister went on to mention that ASD had carried out cyber attacks on ISIS.

Earlier in the year I ran the IT students at the Australian National University through a Hypothetical on Cyberwarfare over the South China Sea. Unfortunately this invented scenario is becoming more likely by the day.

There is a new Australian Cyber Security Innovation Centre being built just outside my office window at ANU. However, as the minister pointed out, this is not just something for IT professionals and federal government. State governments, business and the public have a role.

One of the press questions to the Minister asked if enough defense funding goes to Cyberwarfare. The Minister claimed that "new money" was being put into the military for cyber security and warfare. However, the amounts mentioned were tiny, compared to the amount spent on conventional military systems. One approach I have suggested is a CyberWarfare Battalion, made up of reservist military officers who are IT professionals. 

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