The factor that makes things worse in the cyber world is that the terrorists get a chance to operate from other nations or geographic areas, thus making the arrest and punishment of terrorists a difficult task. According to Taipei Times (31 May 2011) records, Australia is one of the most targeted nations in the world. The companies, government departments, and persons that came under cyber attack in the recent past range from the Australian parliament, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith, Japanese conglomerate Sony, Woodside petroleum of Australia, to mention but a few. Ironically, Chinese intelligence agencies are suspected by many nations and companies for such attacks. Anyway, according to McClelland, the Australian Attorney general, “it is better to deal with the threat, to address the vulnerability.” (Taipei Times, 31 May 2011). According to reports, there were 400 cyber attacks on the Australian government networks in the past year; a number too high to ignore. In addition, the Director General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization David Irvine (cited Staff Writers, Energy Daily, 30 May 2011), points out that Australia experiences constant cyber efforts to steal the nation’s secrets. In the opinion of Irvine, the cyber terrorists not only try to steal the nation’s secrets, but they also aim critical national industries and infrastructures. This claim is substantiated by the fact that Australian miners are vehemently targeted by terrorists. Thus, it becomes evident that it is high time to address the issue. In fact, Australian government has already taken a few steps in this regard, though not so effective. One such step is the...
The government should, at this juncture, start three important steps; the first one to secure vital governmental, defense, and nuclear installations from a possible cyber attack, the second to protect the nationally important infrastructure and industries, and the third to protect common users from cyber attacks and also to help the ‘compromised’ get rid of the malware.
In order to ensure future prevention of attempts of cyber attacks on defense, government departments, and nuclear installations, it is necessary to develop an agency similar to the Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare developed by the US Department of Defense. It should be provided access to data from various governmental law enforcement agencies and private sector as required in its operations. In addition, as already found, certain nations are highly involved in cyber attacks. So, the agency should be allowed to utilize its resources for both offensive and defensive purposes. In other words, military and various other law enforcement agencies can make use of the expertise of this agency as and when required.
In total, by adopting the above steps, it will be possible for Australia to ensure maximum cyber safety in case of a future cyber terrorist attack. This will ensure an adequate level of security at all the levels of the nation ranging from the government departments, defense, various industries, and the common users. Considering the rising levels of cyber attacks on Australia, the earlier the strategies are adopted, the better the future will be.