[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 
ad hoc. 

"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." 

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