Australia to combat malware in government agencies

The country's shadow defence minister has proposed new cybersecurity powers to stop government agencies from buying cheap hardware infected with malware

The Australian shadow defence minister David Johnston will seek to introduce new cybersecurity powers to government departments after ministerial advisors reported that various agencies have bought cheap IT hardware loaded with malware.

The proposals would affect the Trusted Information Sharing Network (TISN), a government forum for sharing data pertinent to national cybersecurity between public and private organisations in seven industries, including banking, health, food and utilities. The reforms would allow the TISN to harden the baseline security standards required to interact with government.

Johnston told ZDNet UK's sister site ZDNet Australia that he intends to push a ban on government agencies shirking expensive but trusted technology brands for cheap white-box goods after unnamed departments had discovered backdoor malware in computers, servers and processor chips.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Cheap hardware infects govt agencies on ZDNet Australia.

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