Oct 12, 2017

Hack of defence firm reveals a cybersecurity framework in chaos

While endlessly talking about the importance of cybersecurity, the government has an all-care-no-responsibility attitude toward its defence data.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The revelation that an Australian defence subcontractor had a large volume of material on Australia's defence assets stolen in an "extensive and extreme compromise" should ring loud alarm bells in Canberra. Instead, it will likely pass with little interest. But be sure our enemies and allies have noted it.

They'll also have noted the head-in-the-sand reaction from the government, with Defence Industries Minister Christopher Pyne dismissing the incident as merely relating to commercial, not classified information, and that it wasn't the fault of the federal government that the subcontractor had poor security. Pyne was thereby demonstrating that the great advantage of outsourcing isn't so much that governments save money, as that they can avoid blame. You get to outsource responsibility, above all.

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