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Doubt cast on NBN’s security

Thursday, 28th July, 2011

GUIDED TOUR: Council’s General Manager, Frank Zaknich, shows the visiting politicians around the Eyre Street film studio. PICTURE: Darrin Manuel GUIDED TOUR: Council’s General Manager, Frank Zaknich, shows the visiting politicians around the Eyre Street film studio. PICTURE: Darrin Manuel

The Federal Shadow Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, says the new National Broadband Network (NBN) was bound to come under attack by hackers and that it should explain how its security was breached.

Mr Turnbull’s statement came after a 25-year-old man was arrested this week and charged with hacking into one of the 13 service companies offering the NBN.

The former Liberal opposition leader, who was here for the joint committee of the NBN’s first meeting outside of a capital city, said he did not know to what extent the hacker had compromised the NBN’s system but that “cyber warfare and cyber security are matters of real national security.”

“You’ve only got to look at every big company, every government department. Every network in the world is constantly under siege from hackers, MR Turnbull said.

“Some of them are working for foreign governments, some of them are working for corporate competitors, some of them are just hackers like this chap, apparently, who wants to create some mischief.”

Mr Turnbull said networks were “vulnerable” and the bigger they were, the more they were at risk.

“A bigger network’s vulnerability is greater, not because its systems are weaker than a smaller network, but because there’s more data to protect and there are more people connected to it.

“So the NBN is going to be one big new tele-communications network, and it is going to be absolutely critical that it has the best security, the best firewalls, because otherwise every business that is connected to it and every residence can be potentially affected.”

Mr Turnbull, 56, said now was the perfect time for the network to be open about its security and explain how the hacker breached it.

“Network security is a critical issue. Whether it is the ABC, the Department of Defence, BHP, Rio Tinto, any of the banks, they are always under attack from hackers.

“It is like an occupational hazard of the network world and I think the NBN will be an incredible attraction for hackers, particularly as it gets bigger.”

 

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