In­ter­net re­form on cards

The West Australian - - NEWS - Nick But­terly and Phoebe Wearne

The Turn­bull Govern­ment is con­sid­er­ing changes to leg­is­la­tion that would give in­ter­net ser­vice providers greater lee­way to block ISP ad­dresses in the wake of this week’s un­prece­dented ran­somware at­tack.

Min­is­ter as­sist­ing the Prime Min­is­ter on Cy­ber Se­cu­rity Dan Te­han said the at­tacks un­der­lined the press­ing need to re­view the rules on how big tel­cos such as Tel­stra and iiNet can move to block sus­pect web ad­dresses.

“The Govern­ment and the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pa­nies, and the ISP sec­tor, have to work very closely to en­sure we are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to pro­tect small busi­ness and the com­mu­nity,” Mr Te­han said.

The West Aus­tralian un­der­stands ex­ist­ing rules around what kind of di­rect ac­tion in­ter­net ser­vice providers can take with­out govern­ment di­rec­tion to block ISPs is some­thing of a grey area.

The Govern­ment is look­ing to en­cour­age providers to bet­ter mar­ket their im­prove­ments in cy­ber se­cu­rity as part of their over­all phone and in­ter­net pack­ages.

At least a dozen Aus­tralian busi­ness have been hit by the ma­li­cious Wan­naCry com­puter bug, which blocks ac­cess to a firm’s data un­til it has paid a ran­som. The bug has claimed hun­dreds of thou­sands of vic­tims world­wide since Fri­day.

North­ern Ter­ri­tory po­lice yes­ter­day re­vealed four pri­vate busi­nesses in Dar­win and Alice Springs had felt “sig­nif­i­cant im­pact”, but it is not known where else in the coun­try busi­nesses have been af­fected.

While Aus­tralian se­cu­rity agen­cies were yes­ter­day aware of re­ports that the bug may have ori­gins in North Korea, it is un­der­stood lo­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tors have found noth­ing to link the virus to that coun­try.

Lord Mayor Lisa Scaf­fidi. Fed­eral Min­is­ter Dan Te­han.

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