[The crash of a US military plane in Chinese territory after computer
hackers attacked American systems. HUH?!? When was this, where was I
that week? I think the good Dr. Ryan is mixing up the dates and
order of the Navy P-3 incident, and the defacement spree that
followed. That was anything but a cyberwar. - WK]
Defence expert warns cyber-terrorism is latest weapon
February 26 2003
Australia was vulnerable to cyber-terrorism which had become the
latest non-military weapon of choice, a defence expert said yesterday.
Academic Dr Alan Ryan warned cyber terrorism was the way of the future
and the nation's security experts would have to focus their attention
on the problem.
"Cyber attack is a reality ... it has become a weapon of non-war
amongst a number of groups," Dr Ryan told a foreign affairs, defence
and trade subcommittee.
Dr Ryan highlighted the growing incidences of viruses being used to
attack computers and cited the crash of a US military plane in Chinese
territory after computer hackers attacked American systems.
"We're moving to a stage where that is going to be one of our greatest
vulnerabilities and it's a virtual vulnerability," he said.
"But it's one that we as an information reliant society and to be
honest a fairly black society in terms of our nation's security
network are going to have to pay a lot more attention to."
Dr Ryan also advocated a national security council for Australia,
similar to America's and administered by a national security adviser.
It could be run out of the Department of the Prime Minister and
Cabinet but required adequate resourcing and staffing, Dr Ryan said.
"I do believe we need a national security council more along the lines
of that which is administered by the national security advisers the
Americans have," he said.
"We do need greater standing coordination, at the moment it is rather
"Security is going to become a greater issue and in the future it
can't be just an add on responsibility for officers scattered
throughout the vast machinery of government, it needs to be taken
seriously and centrally."