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NATO Fights Malware, Bugged Devices at Estonian Cyber Center

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses the media during an EU foreign and defense ministers meeting at the EU Council building in Brussels on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. France has demanded that its European partners provide support for its operations against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq and other security missions in the wake of the Paris attacks. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses the media during an EU foreign and defense ministers meeting at the EU Council building in Brussels on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. France has demanded that its European partners provide support for its operations against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq and other security missions in the wake of the Paris attacks. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses the media during an EU foreign and defense ministers meeting at the EU Council building in Brussels on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. France has demanded that its European partners provide support for its operations against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq and other security missions in the wake of the Paris attacks. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

NATO nations and allies are battling malware in tablets and infected devices this week in the alliance’s largest cyber drill to date aimed at improving members’ data privacy in crisis situations.

Some 400 participants from 33 countries were focused on solving scenarios including attacks on high-ranking officers’ computer equipment during an exercise at a cyber range in Tartu, Estonia’s second-largest city.

“The idea is to replicate dynamics and threats that are real,” said Lt. Col. Christian Braccini, a researcher from the NATO cyber think tank and training center in the capital, Tallinn.

The five-day Cyber Coalition 2015 exercise, which ends Friday, included teams from non-NATO members Austria, Finland and Sweden, with Georgia, Japan and Jordan as observers.

It comes amid a flourish of NATO activity and recent visits by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to the region, where Nordic and Baltic countries have watched Russia’s increasing military presence in the Baltic Sea with increasing trepidation.

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Robert Hoar, head of the NATO drill on behalf of the Allied Command Operations, stressed the scenarios do not include attacking or defending. He says teams were given realistic “story lines” to solve, including cyberattacks on devices.

“The focus of the exercise is not competition, it’s collaboration,” Hoar told reporters.

Participating nations have at least one representative at the high-security cyber exercise range in Tartu, 190 kilometers (120 miles) southeast of Tallinn.

It’s the third time such an event was held in Estonia, one of the most wired and technologically advanced countries in the world. Estonia itself was targeted in 2007 by hackers in one of Europe’s first major organized cyberattacks.

Source: Associated Press

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Henry Sapiecha

Ability to obtain assistance from the telecommunications industry when upholding Australian law.

AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENTARY  DEBATE ON ILLEGAL ONLINE SERVICES

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Thursday 17 July 2014

Disrupting access to illegal online services using the Telecommunications Act 1997

A new inquiry will examine a mechanism in place under the Telecommunications Act 1997 which can be utilised by agencies to disrupt access to illegal online services.

The House Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications will investigate the use of subsection 313(3) of the Act, following a referral from Communications Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP.

Subsection 313(3) of the Act provides Commonwealth, state and territory agencies with the ability to obtain assistance from the telecommunications industry when upholding Australian law.

While the section has a range of applications, the committee’s inquiry will focus solely on the use of the subsection for the purpose of disrupting illegal online services. This includes:

  • which government agencies may make requests under the subsection;
  • what level of authority should agencies have to make such requests;
  • the characteristics of illegal or potentially illegal services that should be subject to such requests; and
  • what are the most appropriate transparency and accountability measures that should accompany such requests, including how these should be implemented.

Committee Chairman Jane Prentice said the inquiry provides an important mechanism to gauge industry and community expectations about the types of services to which subsection 313(3) applies.

“The inquiry is an important step towards providing clarity about the use of the section to disrupt illegal online services,” she said.

The committee invites interested persons and organisations to make submissions to the inquiry addressing the above terms of reference. Submissions close on Friday 22 August 2014.

Further information on the inquiry, including the full terms of reference and how to prepare a submission can be obtained from the Committee’s website at www.aph.gov.au/section313 or from the Secretariat on (02) 6277 2352.

Henry Sapiecha