Budget: Eye on cyber-terrorism attacks

The federal government has allocated more than AU$12 million over the next four years to expand the Australian Government Computer Emergency Readiness Team (GovCERT) and fight high tech crimes, including "cyber-terrorism".

The federal government has allocated more than AU$12 million over the next four years to expand the Australian Government Computer Emergency Readiness Team (GovCERT) and fight high tech crimes, including "cyber-terrorism".

According to federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock, GovCERT will be enhanced in order to "provide owners and operators of Australia's critical infrastructure with information to help reduce the risks from sophisticated electronic attacks and to provide government with information about the electronic risks to critical infrastructure."

The funding -- allocated from this year's federal budget -- will also help ensure information is shared in a quick and effective way by government and critical infrastructure organisations.

In addition, a "cyber-exercise program" is in the works to help the country cope with "cyber-terrorism attacks".

"It is imperative that we remain one step ahead of emerging e-threats. The measures announced in this year's budget will help create a secure and trusted operating environment that will benefit all Australians," Ruddock said.

GovCERT was formed over two years ago and at the time, it was heavily criticised by Graham Ingram, director of the Australian Computer Emergency Response Team (AusCERT), for duplicating his organisation's role and wasting taxpayers' money.

Ingram said: "If AusCERT didn't exist, the cost to the government would be estimated at somewhere between AU$5 million and AU$10 million a year...The wise move is to support AusCERT because the costs of not doing it are enormous".

Meanwhile, the Australian Federal Police stands to receive AU$15.6 million over four years from today's budget to combat complex technology-enabled crimes.

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