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Government steps up their efforts in online cyberwar

CYBER attacks against Australian businesses are not restricted to online hacking, with a third of all attacks involving the theft of notebooks and tablets in 2012, a national survey revealed on Monday.

The first national Cyber Crime and Security Survey Report showed one in five Australian businesses experienced an electronic attack in the past year.

Among the 250 large businesses surveyed, respondents included companies in the energy and mining sector, defence contractors, communications, banking and finance and water industry.

The report aims to create baseline data about what businesses are being targeted online, how they are being attacked, and where businesses should be looking to invest in better digital security.

Releasing the report, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said it showed that with every business opportunity online, there was a risk of criminal exploitation.

"Cyber attacks have shifted from being indiscriminate and random to being more co-ordinated and targeted for financial gain," he said.

"Most attacks occur from outside the business, although it appears internal risks are also significant.

"The most serious attacks documented involved malicious software including "ransomware" and "scareware"; trojan or rootkit malware and theft or breach of confidential information and denial-of-service attacks.

Of the total number of attacks reported, theft of mobile devices and notebooks made up 32% of all "cyber incidents", virus or worm infections made up 28% and trojan or rootkit malware made up 21%.

Some 90% of survey respondents used firewalls, anti-spam filters and anti-virus software.

The report also revealed that while two-thirds of respondents had incident management plans, only 12% had forensic plans for managing attacks.

Topics:  afp attorney general hacking theft


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