Six steps to a secure web

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Six steps to a secure web

E-crime fighters plead for global links and money.

A security summit held in Sydney last Friday highlighted the legal and financial challenges faced by Australia's law enforcement community when tackling cybercrime.

At a panel session at McAfee's Strategic Summit in Sydney, moderator David Koch asked representatives of the law enforcement, Internet Service Provider and security vendor communities for their wish-list in terms of what is required to more effectively protect citizens from cybercrime.

Peter Sykora, a Federal agent employed by the Australian Federal Police's High Tech Crime Operation, simply said he needed "the resources to do my job."

"This is the future of policing," he told the audience. "I need skilled personnel."

Sykora said he desired a "unified law enforcement approach, whereby [states and territories] can leverage off each other's resources.

"One of my biggest bugbears is that for two years we have talked about Mutual Assistance Processes, and it's still nowhere. We need to expedite that process. Cybercrime is not a national issue anymore, this is beyond borders."

Earlier in proceedings panellists highlighted hurdles within the judicial system.

One example cited was the trial of convicted hacker Brendan Taylor in Perth, who was found guilty of stealing 56,000 customer records from domain registrar Bottle Domains, but only penalised with a 12-month good behaviour bond.

"To the criminal, that said 'It's an opportunity to keep exploiting this'," another panellist said. "I won't go to gaol."

Sykora's comments were supported wholeheartedly by Detective Superintendent Brian Hay of the Queensland Police, who applauded the AFP's efforts to encourage national and international collaboration in the fight against cybercrime.

Hay believed Australia should sign on to the European Convention for Cybercrime, an idea promoted by the AFP, which will see the intelligence and law enforcement communities in Australia and Europe share far more information.

"Law enforcement has to become an international family," Hay told iTnews. "I understand talks have commenced between the AFP and the Government about becoming globalised in our reach. That would allow for a far more efficient transfer of intelligence. It would force us and obligate us to commit to enforcing cybercrime on a global level, not just here in Australia."


Journalist David Koch asked these six experts each for a wish to fight cybercrime.

Peter Sykora - Australian Federal Police's High Tech Crime Operation
"I would like to see a unified law enforcement approach, whereby [States and Territories] can leverage off each other's resources."

Detective Superintendent Brian Hay - Queensland Police
"I would like for Australia to sign up to the European Convention on Cybercrime, so that we can share intelligence information with the Europeans."

Alastair McGibbon - managing partner of Surete Group (formerly with eBay and AFP)
"I would like a single point to collect a whole-of-nation picture on the incidence of cybercrime. Until you can measure it, until we share it, we can't work out the human or financial impacts. We need to know how much it's worth."

Peter Coroneos - chief executive officer of the Internet Industry Association
"The Government should consider spending just two per cent of the $43 billion committed to the National Broadband Network on security. We should take a billion dollars and spent that on hardening the network."

Darren Kane, director of corporate security and investigations, Telstra
"I would like to see a mass market education campaign supported by Government funding. We also need safe harbour provisions for ISPs. Where we take action, we'd like to be protected."

Dave DeWatt - president and CEO of McAfee
"I think we need a World Health Organisation perspective to security. We need a global alerting body that isn't profit driven." 

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