Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Australia Creates Cyberwarfare Unit

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the sir-shall-I-adjust-the-budget-sir dept.

Australia 60

An anonymous reader writes "Australia's Federal Government computer emergency response team and other spy agencies are teaming up to create a cyberspooks unit to counter threats from other countries, the nation's chief lawmaker said last night. In a speech referencing Stuxnet and GhostNet, Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the unit would protect sensitive Australian Government and business information from espionage by the nation's foes. Recently new powers were handed to spymasters to deal with the enhanced security threat that the Greens party said were 'excessive.'"

cancel ×

60 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

English, motherfucker! Do you speak it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35449996)

Recently new powers were handed spymasters to deal with the enhanced security threat that the Greens party said were 'excessive.'"

Because when the Greens party says an enhanced security threat is excessive, you know the new powers won't be able to deal with it unless we hand them spymasters!

(Is a apymaster kinda like a viewmaster, you know, those old stereoscope-wheel gadgets?)

Re:English, motherfucker! Do you speak it? (2)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450062)

Recently new powers were handed spymasters to deal with the enhanced security threat that the Greens party said were 'excessive.'"

Because when the Greens party says an enhanced security threat is excessive, you know the new powers won't be able to deal with it unless we hand them spymasters!

(Is a apymaster kinda like a viewmaster, you know, those old stereoscope-wheel gadgets?)

I was handed a new spymaster; it's much better than my old one and I am now comfortable in knowing that I am a new power. My old spymaster only took 35mm film -- with this new one I can gaze into a fictional world with such clarity and definition that you'd think it was real.

Re:English, motherfucker! Do you speak it? (2)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450084)

I should also note that recently I've taken up the habit of wearing my panties and bra on the outside of my clothing, so my "new power" status is unsurprising even though I am a male. I also agree with the Greens that the enhanced security threat are excessive.

Re:English, motherfucker! Do you speak it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450636)

Do you have the Spymaster 2011 or just the old Spymaster 2000 ?

Re:English, motherfucker! Do you speak it? (1)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450088)

a spymaster is kind of like a puppet master, but has it's hands up the arse of spy's instead of puppets. ;)

Re:English, motherfucker! Do you speak it? (2)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450354)

Up the arse of spy's what?
This in a thread titled "English, motherfucker! Do you speak it?" - Irony, thou art a merciless bitch!

Re:English, motherfucker! Do you speak it? (1)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 3 years ago | (#35485398)

Damn you, inappropriate apostrophe! I probably should've used spies instead of spy's, but hey, it was early, and I wasn't quite caffeinated.

Use a spellchecker (pot calling kettle black) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452948)

Learn to spell properly, troll (bolded evidence below quoted):

(Is a apymaster kinda like a viewmaster, you know, those old stereoscope-wheel gadgets?) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, @11:13PM (#35449996)

You're the "pot calling the kettle black" first of all, so learn to spell troll. Secondly, you're off topic (because there is no english grammar section here).

Ruh-roh... (0)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450000)

Ya know our Republicans won't be able to stand for being outdone by the Aussies in developing methods to control the flow of information over the Internet...

Re:Ruh-roh... (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450724)

Ya know our Republicans won't be able to stand for being outdone by the Aussies in developing methods to control the flow of information over the Internet...

Langley, Virginia,
October 23, 2013.
Office of the newly formed American Cyberwarfare Unit.

Spymaster: Well gentlemen, to help in the formation of this new unit, we've asked some of our allies to share their knowledge. / points to heavy set man in shadows.
Spymaster: Special Agent Bruce of Orstralya.
/ man in wearing a blue singlet, acrubra hat and blue jeans walks into the light, in his right hand he's holding a can of beer.
Agent Bruce: G'day Yanks, yer government has asked me here to talk about ya new cyberwarfare unit.
/ takes big swig of his beer.
Agent Bruce: Right, where was I. Oh yeah the cyber warfare unit, back in Oz we just called it the unit, we'd have a piss up every friday, barbie at the end of the month and a few beers in between. It's important to remember, our main enemies in Horstrailya were the Kiwi's, the Pom's and the Koala Drop bears. Traditionally the vicious drop bears used to drop on people but since we put phone lines near the trees they've become ever more dangerous.
/ Skulls the rest of his beer.
Agent Bruce: Well the Koala Drop Bears learned how to order from Dell, they began to set up wireless networks, moving their operations away from the powerlines.
/ Opens the esky, cracks another tinny.
Agent Bruce: Well that's not as bad as the sharks, these things were 19 metres long and can follow you on shore for 200 KM's. I once saw me mate Gary running along the highway, I said "Gary, why ya runnin so fast" and he said "that bloody Shark" and I said "She'll be right, mate" and we both took off down the pub. Speaking of which, it's beer o'clock time already. Tomorrow we'll cover the hoop snakes but today, where's the nearest watering hole?

Re:Ruh-roh... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451568)

Obviously written by a whingeing Pom or sheep-shagging Kiwi, the bastards.

OK. (3, Funny)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450018)

"the unit would protect sensitive Australian Government and business information from espionage by the nation's foes."

Those darn Kiwis.

Re:OK. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450086)

Maybe it's just a preparation for Assange coming home? Then again, maybe Assange *is* the Cyberwarfare Unit? :-)

Re:OK. (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450272)

So that would be a cyberdefence unit, not a cyberwarfare unit or in this case as clearly delineated a cybersecurity unit. Whereas other country have been hyping attack, clearly the message was one of defence and providing computer security related expertise and investigation resources to state based police forces.

By definition that would make the Australia computer security team opposition to the US security team who wish to exploit security gaps to attack other countries rather than just being focused on preventing and investigating attacks. From a partnership in security focus could you never really trust the US unit, knowing that they would purposefully hide security weaknesses so that they can be exploited.

Especially when US government interests seems to be the dog wagged by the tail of US corporate interests. Especially when US corporate interests seem to have very little interest in the future of US citizens unless it is profitable for US corporate interests and obviously would have even less interest in the future of Australian citizens.

Re:OK. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450362)

Of course it will be for defence, not for exploiting others, because that's what they said.

I suggest we henceforth refer to it as "cyber security section 9" in a nod to

Re:OK. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450722)

So that would be a cyberdefence unit, not a cyberwarfare unit

Defence is one facet of warfare, they aren't mutually exclusive. Do you think you're Noam Chomsky or something?

Re:OK. (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450508)

"the unit would protect sensitive Australian Government and business information from espionage by the nation's foes." Those darn Kiwis.

We had to do something, our usually top notch Cricket team has been an abysmal failure of late... Lets not even mention the rugby team (3 blokes trying to push two blokes up one blokes arse).

Hat image (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450618)

Just so we're clear:

Is the hat going to be the image for all Australia stories, whether they be about encryption, M$, Telus, the National Broadband initiative, kangaroos, etc.?

Does any other country get the same treatment?

Re:Hat image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450942)

Is the hat going to be the image for all Australia stories

Real Aussies don't call those 'hats'... it's an akubra.

Re:Hat image (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453732)

Is it an Akubra? I always thought it looked more like one of R.M.Williams' leather hats.

In other news, my Dad and I are on a mission to lose at least one Akubra in every major international airport. So far we've hit Frankfurt, Dubai and Dallas. Any help would be appreciated.

Re:Hat image (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453142)

I've complained about that image before. But I got cut down: everyone just told me I was being overly sensitive.

But seriously. Other countries don't seem to get that treatment. The image is ludicrously stereotyped. And frankly, to an Australian, it seems a rather bizarre choice: yes the Akubra is an iconic piece of Australiana associated with those living on the land and our pioneer forebears, but it's not the ~first~ (or second or even tenth) thing that springs to mind if you're going to pick a stereotyped icon. It'd be like using a 10-gallon cowboy hat icon for any story concerning the US: something that represents a rather specific time and place in US history, rather than the country as a whole.

Honest question: if you asked 100 random Americans to name the first image or object associated with Australia that they could think of, how many would say an Akubra hat??

Re:Hat image (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453742)

I take it as an opportunity to laugh at how silly the yanks are.

Re:OK. (1)

minorproblem (891991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450866)

Their main role will be to have sockpuppets on all the major news and social networking sites. When a big Rugby\Cricket match is coming up between Australia and England, Australia and New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, Australia and Wales...... they can spam the sites talking us up.

Foreign powers aren't the problem (4, Insightful)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450036)

Robert McClelland's problem isn't countering cyber-threats from other countries.

His office has trouble understanding cyber-threats from other countries.

Re:Foreign powers aren't the problem (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450620)

His office has trouble understanding cyber-threats from his own party. They've probably asked Stephen Conroy for advice.

*UGH* How pitifully hysterical (3, Informative)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450038)

Bunch of school girls jumping up on their chairs when they see a mouse. If they could only see themselves.

Re:*UGH* How pitifully hysterical (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450192)

Unfortunately, these hysterical schoolgirls are jumping up on chairs and obtaining new surveillance powers...

While political entities are not free of common human foibles, it is generally safer to view them as actors value-rationally emulating the set of outputs that is most likely to get them what they want, rather than assume that their outputs actually correlate with their internal states...

Re:*UGH* How pitifully hysterical (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450226)

Yes, the politicians are the clever ones. Actually it's the voters playing the part of the school girls as they fall for every trick in the book. Exactly the desired effect...

Re:*UGH* How pitifully hysterical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450260)

So the voters are schoolgirls, and the politicians are fucking us all. Seems there should be either statutory rape charges or japanese comics somewhere in here?

Re:*UGH* How pitifully hysterical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450458)

Something about the tentacles of our creeping government penetrating into the realm of internet espionage?

In joyful strains then let us sing.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450072)

Advance, Australia, .. [redacted]

Hey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450118)

I'm creating a cyberwarfare unit too! If anyone wants to join, you get to pick your own cool "handle". Please respond with your name and favorite pizza toppings.

Re:Hey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450196)

my handle is 1337|-|4>0|2 and I like barbecue chicken. ty.

Re:Hey! (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451716)

I'm creating a cyberwarfare unit too! If anyone wants to join, you get to pick your own cool "handle". Please respond with your name and favorite pizza toppings.

Can I be Neo, please? And the toppings are chilli con carne, spicy pork and extra garlic and jalapenos. (I prefer to work alone, BTW).

First Proposal: (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450202)

Take advantage of Australia's uniquely malevolent fauna and boost domestic IT manufacturing by mandating that the bit-buckets into which all routers and security appliances drop potentially malicious packets be filled with saltwater crocodiles. All patched but unused ethernet drops are to be protected by nests of poisonous spiders.

Re:First Proposal: (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450408)

Re uniquely malevolent fauna - ASIO did like Australia gardening guru and television and radio presenter Peter Cundall.
His ideas on racial equality, education for everyone, an end to poverty, an end to war and apartheid protests got ASIO very interested.
As 'friends' they sat in on his meetings about organic gardening and took lots of notes.
Legal reforms might have exposed some of this in the 1990's, but I guess they want their powers back.
Expect many more local sneak and peek options and strange computer issues :)
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/cundall-digs-deep-into-his-asio-dirt-file/2086963.aspx [canberratimes.com.au]

Greens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450268)

Recently new powers were handed spymasters to deal with the enhanced security threat that the Greens party said were 'excessive.'

It's probably a vital and necessary function then

sank u cull agin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450372)

The Aussies can save a shitload of cash if they outsource this kind of shit to India.

"Stuxnet", "nation's foes" in a single sentence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450386)

"In a speech referencing Stuxnet and GhostNet.....business information from espionage by the nation's foes"

But wasn't Stuxnet created by our Allies. If it were to infect the Lucas Height reactor, it would realize this and delete itself. Wouldn't it? :P

The road to fascism (1)

Cinnaman (954100) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450420)

Looks like the framework is being pout place to make sure we all remain loyal to the Australian government (and the financial interests it serves), or else.

If the reader thinks we are really under threat from terrorists look up "false flag operations". Do these people sit around twiddling their thumbs waiting for terrorists give them the chance to introduce this type of legislation?

Grammar and Yanks... (0, Flamebait)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450428)

What is it with you Americans with your dropping of the word 'to' in sentences... "Write your congressman" should really be "write TO your congressman", "Recently new powers were handed spymasters", should be "Recently new powers were handed TO spymasters"

and when you lot say "you could care less"; it's completely wrong... just parse the sentence folks... it should really be "you couldn't care less" as in you already care very little about something and it isn't possible to care any less...

Re:Grammar and Yanks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450574)

What is it with you Americans with your dropping of the word 'to' in sentences... "Write your congressman" should really be "write TO your congressman", "Recently new powers were handed spymasters", should be "Recently new powers were handed TO spymasters"

and when you lot say "you could care less"; it's completely wrong... just parse the sentence folks... it should really be "you couldn't care less" as in you already care very little about something and it isn't possible to care any less...

Holy hypocritical Grammar Nazi, Batman...

We Americans go to THE hospital, or to THE University ... we don't go "to hospital" or "to uni" ... you wanna sling mud, at least make sure it's going in the right direction....

Re:Grammar and Yanks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35451106)

We Americans go to THE hospital, or to THE University ... we don't go "to hospital" or "to uni" ...

Here in Australia we have more than one hospital and university to choose from. Therefore the correct usage would actually be "a hospital" and "a university". Also, don't forget that we're better at playing cricket.

Re:Grammar and Yanks... (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453242)

I'm pretty sure in America, a child would come home and say "I went to school today". They don't say "I went to THE school today".

Yet Americans say "the hospital" and "the university"! The latter is particularly weird since a university is an educational institution just like a school is!

Two points:

1. In the case of schools, hospitals and universities, there are more than one. Saying 'the' implies that there is only one.

2. Regardless of whichever is grammatically 'correct', at least the UK/Australia/NZ/etc are consistent which grammatical structure they use. In America it's all over the place ('to school' is OK, but not 'to hospital' or 'to university').

Note that I don't actually care about this. Language has lots of regional differences and it's a petty thing to be worried about. But if you are going to be critical of someone pointing out one of these oddities, you had better at least recognise that your own way of doing things is not without its own glaring inconsistencies.

Re:Grammar and Yanks... (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 3 years ago | (#35461382)

My grammar's fine and she don't need no hospital.

Re:Grammar and Yanks... (2)

David at Eeyore (20627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450576)

Be kind to folk from the US. Their dialect of English broke away from the mainstream a long time ago, and they have kept many forms and regional linguistic quirks from the time of their first settlement by English-speaking people. We in the south (AU/NZ) have kept closer to conventional English, despite colourful usage and NZ vowel shifts...

Re:Grammar and Yanks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35453790)

Yea, and "went to hospital" is almost as good as "on the day".

Awsome! Cybernetic soldiers! (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450456)

Would the Cyberwarfare Unit be equipped with cybernetic limbs, eyes and be able to jack in to the 'net?

Or should it really be called an Internet Warfare Unit, that employs non-cyborgs to protect and attack over the internet?

Terra my arse (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450974)

This group will play a valuable role in ensuring that Australians get all the censorship they could ever want. May not be setup with that intention, but it's difficult to imagine the Australian government doing something that is entirely unrelated to censorship.

Defence Signals Directorate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35451072)

Isn't this what DSD is for?

Yep! (1)

Mick R (932337) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451206)

When we catch 'em we'll drop the bastards. . . . . . . .

Obligatory ... (1)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451508)

That's not a DDOS.

THIS is a DDOS.

A video on why "cyberwarfare" is bullshit (1)

DataDiddler (1994180) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451596)

http://vimeo.com/3519680 [vimeo.com]

It's about an hour long for anyone who's interested.

TL;DW version: no country is going to waste time developing attacks and trying to coordinate with physical attacks when they can be disarmed by Microsoft releasing a patch. Besides, if you want something DoS'd, it's much easier to just blow it up; that way the admins can't just reboot or restore the damn thing and have it up again within minutes. Most importantly, even if you've managed to cripple a country's networks -- including their military networks -- you need to still be able to back it up with physical force to exploit your temporary advantage. So, he concludes that criminals, terrorists, and spies will be a problem, but "cyberwar" will never really happen.

Re:A video on why "cyberwarfare" is bullshit (1)

indiechild (541156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451742)

Well of course cyberwar would be accompanied by brutal, physical meatspacewar. The two would go hand-in-hand. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss cyberwarfare when basically all of our modern systems and infrastructure depend on computers and the Internet.

There's a quite a number of countries that have been practising and executing cyberwarfare for years. They just deny that they do it.

Going after Graduates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35451700)

I'm about to graduate from an IT Security degree (Australia) and the DSD and ASIO are really really trying to grab graduates lately to the point I've had to put in an email filter to drop emails about it.

Re:Going after Graduates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452520)

Graduates weighing up job offers are probably making comparisons similar to:

DSD/ASIO

  • High degree of uncertainty about nature of the job.
  • Uncertainty about career options available within the organisation.
  • Uncertainty surrounding security clearances (and the time and effort involved).
  • Difficulty transferring to the private sector as job duties and achievements cannot be publicised readily.
  • Damaged industry reputation and credibility from the media post 9/11.
  • Need to relocate.
  • Generally better pay for graduates.
  • Job security.

Private companies

  • Understanding of job duties.
  • Understanding of future career directions possible within the company.
  • Can transfer to the public sector without too many difficulties.
  • Stay in major city.
  • Easy process for starting.
  • Conditions of employment are often less desirable.
  • Pay is generally lower for graduate level employment.
  • Reduced job security.

Unemployment is down to 5% (effectively 0% because of turnover that occurs). Therefore graduates in IT field can generally choose the job they want because of the high demand for their skills. Job task uncertainty and required relocation are going to disadvantage the public sector option for many suitable graduates. The software engineering graduate bidding wars of Google and Facebook in the USA show that the best talent is in high demand and a high price will be paid for it.

For hackers in the traditional MIT computer lab sense of the word shoulders may need tapping at non-existent Australian conferences along the lines of HOPE and CCC. Ruxcon tends to be an unoriginal summary of topics that were covered at European and American conferences three years ago. AusCERT is a collection of businesses who get together to sell antivirus products to the Government and large corporations. linux.conf.au is probably the closest match within Australia - and the world - for bringing together some of the best software engineers (hackers) in one place at one time.

Re:Going after Graduates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454156)

Grand-parent here, I pretty much agree with your assessment. Although the "Uncertainty surrounding security clearances" and "Uncertainty about career options available within the organisation." can pretty much be cleared up if you just speak to the recruiter.

Digital Rabbit-proof fence? (1)

IchBinEinPenguin (589252) | more than 3 years ago | (#35460792)

What a joke.
What else can you expect from the geniuses that proposed the national evil filter...

Australia's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35477222)

Australia is good country ,
go to shopping ,please go to http://www.AnyINcn.com

security system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35477310)

The wireless security system [espow.com] with 4 cameras can give you the freedom to monitor your child or elder people in any room that needs your attention without actually being in the room. Feel free to roam with a portable high-resolution wireless cameras with exchangeble receiver that allows free movement. With this wireless mini digital cameras and receiver you can ensure the safety of your family member in any room even you are not there.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?