Australia’s Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Cyber Security Dan Tehan has said the government will look to those working within infosec for the banking and telecommunications sectors to fill out its Cyber Reserve force.
Tehan told ABC radio on Tuesday morning that it is likely that physical recruitment requirements for the Cyber Reserve would be lowered.
“What we will be looking to is those people in industry who have the requisite skills — so we know for instance when it comes to telecommunications, when it comes to our banking sectors — that they have cyber people embedded who have very, very good skills who we could call on in times of national emergency,” he said.
“It would operate how our normal Army Reserve works … we might look to see are your strengths more in the IT area, rather than when it comes to the physical fitness side.”
Tehan is set to launch the Australian Cyber Security Centre annual threat report later today, and revealed it will contain how a defence contractor was infiltrated by unknown actors.
“We don’t know, and we cannot confirm exactly, who the actor was … cyber espionage is alive and well, and it is something we need to be conscious about, and it’s why the government is taking the actions it is to do everything we can to keep the government safe, and protect government systems.”
Last week, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Australia is able to pinpoint the individual humans responsible for a cyber attack.
“Depending on the seriousness and nature of an incident, Australia has the capability to attribute malicious cyber activity in a timely manner to several levels of granularity — ranging from the broad category of adversary through to specific states and individuals,” Bishop said.
“Australia has developed offensive cyber capabilities. Having established a firm foundation of international law and norms, we must now ensure that there are consequences that flow for those who flout the rules.”
Tehan confirmed on Tuesday that Australia is using its offensive cyber capabilities against terrorists in the Middle East.
“In terms of a government, we have been the most forward-leaning when it comes to saying what capabilities we’ve got,” he said.
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