Print 4 comment(s) - last by StevoLincolnit.. on May 30 at 7:49 PM

Outgoing Woodside Chief Executive Don Voelte said that no one in particular is to blame, and to stop "picking on the Chinese"

A series of cyber attacks have threatened the security of many large corporations recently, including Sony, who lost millions of customer records through its PlayStation Network (PSN) and Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) databases. More recently, the U.S. government's top IT provider Lockheed Martin was hacked using stolen RSA information.

With cyber attacks becoming more common and increasingly sophisticated, Australia's government warned companies today that these threats are "intensifying," and that heightened awareness of these attacks is vital.

In February of this year, Australia's parliament suffered a cyber attack where at least 10 federal computers were hacked. The computers of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Defense Minister Stephen Smith were among those accessed, where confidential e-mails may have been compromised. Among those suspected of committing the crime were Chinese intelligence agencies, which were involved in similar crimes in France. 

As a result, Australian Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy met with chief executives from 20 of the largest resource companies, manufacturers and banks last month to talk about the increase in cyber threats. The executives received "confidential briefings" from the Office of National Assessments and the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD), which guards against foreign IT threats. Some of the rumored companies in attendance were Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton, Woodside, Rio Tinto and the country's four major banks. 

Then, in a business conference in Perth on Friday, an executive from Australia's largest oil and gas company, Woodside Petroleum, announced that cyber attacks are a concern in Australia. But Outgoing Woodside Chief Executive Don Voelte said that no one in particular is to blame; the attacks are coming from everywhere.

"It comes from everywhere," said Voelte. "It comes from Eastern Europe; it comes from Russia. Just don't pick on the Chinese; it's everywhere."

McClelland added that the important thing to do is focus on the threat itself and not necessarily worry about where it's coming from for now, at least. 

"We don't comment on the source of those [attacks]," said McClelland. "It is often literally hard to identify. They are often re-routed through other countries and other providers. We think it is better to deal with the threat, to address the vulnerability. It may well be that there is a private corporation involved, that the issue can be addressed without prejudicing their business relations, or their reputation.

"People should not assume that it is any particular company [involved], because quite often, espionage will be conducted through a customer or a supplier."

Other sectors of the Australian government, such as the Australian Security Intelligence Organization, plan to protect the country's resource companies from potential attacks like those launched against the government in February. 

"There is no doubt that cyber-security threats are becoming worse," said McClelland. "Without talking about specific incidents, there have been a number of reports concerning our resource companies."

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Surprise surprise!
By curryj02 on 5/30/2011 3:12:16 PM , Rating: 0
I'm shocked. I mean who would have thought that an executive from Woodside, a company whose primary customer is China, has gone public saying 'Just don't blame the Chinese for cyber threats'.

I would sure like to read some of those e-mails from Julia Gillard's computer though. I wonder if there is anything there about the National Broadband Network debacle: "Yes, it will cost only $4 Billion... *aide whispers to her*... Ohh wait, did I say $4 Billion? I meant $40 Billion".


If a business was to offer customers a quote of $40 for a job, only to quickly change it to $400, it would quickly go out of business. Personally, I would think they were either ripping me off, or completely incompetent. I'm pretty sure in the case of Gillard's government, it is the latter.

RE: Surprise surprise!
By StevoLincolnite on 5/30/2011 7:49:03 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if there is anything there about the National Broadband Network debacle: "Yes, it will cost only $4 Billion... *aide whispers to her*... Ohh wait, did I say $4 Billion? I meant $40 Billion".

The 4 billion figure was for a fiber to the node network, last mile access was still via copper and still controlled by Telstra's monopoly.
Tenders for that weren't successful.

Then they went back to the drawing board and decided to go with Fiber to the home for $37 Billion. (Taxpayers fork out about 26 Billion of that.)
They remove Telstra's monopoly and ditch the aging and (degrading) copper network for an equal access network that all 200+ ISP's can compete on equally for better competition.

We get stupidly faster speeds (Think 1gbps+ is easily obtainable), new services like high quality IPTV and VOIP, Improved network reliability and hopefully lower prices.

$37 Billion is a fairly small figure, we spend more than that on Social benefits, Health Care etc'.
It would equate to about 10% of a yearly government budget. (This is being stretched out over a decade, so that $37 billion is more like $4 billion a year, if not less.)

The Copper network has been here for decades, internet connections in Australia is literally getting slower and more unreliable as the copper degrades.
ADSL/VDSL and the law of Physics already gives us the best possible speeds for our line conditions as it is, so the only way forward is to replace the lot with a new network that will last 50+ years.

Anyway, I'm all for supporting the NBN "debacle" as you put it, seems like the Majority of Aussies are from the Labor Government being voted in twice.

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