Site launched to log security breaches

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The federal government has launched a website it claims will allow government agencies to more rapidly and securely report information security breaches, such as hacking or denial of service attacks.

The OnSecure website -- jointly developed by the National Office of the Information Economy (NOIE) and the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) -- was unveiled in a joint statement from Communications Minister Daryl Williams, Defence Minister Robert Hill and Attorney General Philip Ruddock.

According to the statement, the site was designed to allow agencies to report information security incidents online, rather than by mail or facsimile.

In addition, it would assist the DSD to analyse incident reports more quickly and effectively, “to identify any developing patterns and to assess the resulting threat level,” the statement said.

OnSecure also has a public site, www.onsecure.gov.au, designed to help Internet users to understand and respond to potential e-security threats and provide access to information and advice on issues such as spam, viruses and fraud.

OnSecure was funded through the government's allocation of $24.9 million over four years for the E-Secure National Agenda strategy in the 2002-03 Budget.

As part of this strategy, the government allocated additional funding to certain agencies -- NOIE, the DSD, the Australian Federal Police, ASIO and the Attorney-General's Department -- to help secure Australia's national information infrastructure. This infrastructure comprises the electronic systems underpinning critical services such as telecommunications, transport and distribution, energy and utilities, and the banking and finance sectors.

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