The government has announced a new bill aimed at strengthening
Australia's cyber security laws, the Cybercrime Legislation
Amendment Bill (Bill). The Bill amends various criminal and
communications legislation, significantly tightening
Australia's laws in this area.
The Bill targets online fraud, child pornography, copyright
offences and security breaches (including offences against
confidentiality and integrity of computer systems) and brings
Australia's communications laws into alignment with
Middletons partner, Dudley Kneller said, "These changes
will align Australian laws with international standards, so
Australia can accede to the Convention which more than 40 countries
have already signed. Given the cross border nature of cybercrime
offences, clearly a high degree of international cooperation is
In relation to security breaches, the Attorney General stated
that within the last six months more than 250,000 pieces of
information have been stolen by hackers, including passwords,
contact details and account information. "This highlights the
scale of current cyber crime activities and why the government has
decided to act." said Mr Kneller.
Mr Kneller said, "Data security is a particularly hot topic
at the moment with a string of highly publicised cyber attacks.
Earlier this month Citigroup announced that hackers had accessed an
online facility used by customers to manage their credit cards.
Sony's online gaming system was also recently breached,
allowing unauthorised access to the account information of more
than 100 million users. Similar security breaches have also
occurred over the last few months in relation to Citigroup, The
Australian Institute of Company Directors, RSA Security and
Distribute IT in Australia."
Mr Kneller added, "All these breaches expose organisations
and their customers to the risk of identity theft, fraud and
phishing scams. In addition the threat to reputation, the costs
incurred to remedy and potential exposure to privacy and
confidentiality breaches are likely to see such proposed changes
"The Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 is the
first of many necessary steps towards combating cybercrime, and
dealing with the incidences of security breaches which are becoming
more prolific." said Mr Kneller
Distribute.IT has revealed that it has been the victim of a
massive hack that has seen 4800 Australian websites vanish, with no
hope of recovery
Citigroup became the latest high-profile victim of a cyber
attack which experts called largest direct attack on a major U.S.
financial institution, and said it could prompt an overhaul of the
banking industry's data security measures
Thousands of business leaders were warned their personal
details may have been on a computer stolen from the Australian
Institute of Company Directors
Sony apologised after it shut-down the PlayStation Network and
Qriocity online services after a cyber attach breached the privacy
of 77 million accounts
Information regarding RSA's SecurID authentication tokens
used by millions of customers, was stolen during an "extremely
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