Australia has joined forces with government cyber warriors from the United States and the United Kingdom to increase nations' capabilities of thwarting attempts by unscrupulous hackers to breach the security protocols of computer systems maintained by public and private entities.
The closer cooperation on cyber security matters will seek to create a unified guideline, which Defence Minister Stephen Smith described as an "international agreement on rules of the road for cyber space."
Speaking Wednesday on the cyber security forum hosted by the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD), Mr Smith said that governments, Australia including, constantly face increasing threats of intrusion from cyber criminals.
"Australia is experiencing increasingly sophisticated attempts to infiltrate networks in both the public and private domain," the defence minister was reported by the Australian Associated Press (AAP) as saying.
He pointed to existing threats originating "not just from nation states, but also from non-state actors," which include organised crime groups and both foreign domestic agents.
Cyber security concerns are now regarded by governments as major risks that would impact on the economic and national security interests of a given state nation, Mr Smith said, pointing to the increased number of hacking activities since last year.
According to the latest report furnished by the DSD-supervised Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC), more than 2500 cases of cyber security incidents have been observed, with about a third of the attempts tagged by authorities as serious enough to invite deeper probes.
The CSOC added on its report that some 65 per cent of the recorded cases were labelled by cyber investigators as economically-induced hacking tries.
The agency, however, noted that some 85 per cent of the computer system breaches were wholly preventable given that entities subject of the attacks opted to establish robust enough security firewall to fend off even the most spirited and sophisticated assaults.
In a related video campaign created by the DSD, public and private organisations are warned that the biggest threats to information they value are "spies and state-based hackers ... (who) are most sophisticated and capable."
"They want information about Australia, its policies, its industries, its intellectual property and its defences and they want to know what you are working on," the DSD video pitch reminded.
But the biggest threat would be to deliberately ignore the threats, according to Mr Smith, adding that those who do might just end up as victims of these costly attacks.
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