AusCERT scraps free security alerts

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AusCERT scraps free security alerts

Spruiks new Government-funded service.

IT security team AusCERT plans to discontinue its free national alert service this week.

Subscribers were notified on Monday, and advised to migrate to a new, Government-funded alert service called Stay Smart Online (SSO), that also will be provided by AusCERT.

The new service would be provided under a contract between AusCERT and the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE).

It is aimed at home users and SMBs with the lowest level of technical understanding, low awareness of e-security, and without e-security experts readily available to assist them, an AusCERT spokesperson told iTnews.

AusCERT's discontinued service targeted business and private computer users with e-mailed bulletins that warned of critical network threats and suggested appropriate solutions.

It first came into effect on April 2003, following an agreement with the Federal Government.

A spokesperson for the Attorney-General's department told iTnews that the discontinuation of AusCERT's free service reflected the establishment of a new national computer emergency response team, CERT Australia, which was funded by the department.

The Government was in negotiations with the University of Queensland, which manages AusCERT, for the provision of some services for CERT Australia, he said.

AusCERT noted that the SSO service may not meet the needs of small to medium sized enterprises with large networks and with dedicated IT staff.

In an e-mail to its subscribers, it recommended its member-only service that costs upwards of $1,270 and includes a more technical and comprehensive range of security bulletins for organisations operating a network.

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