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Alston says hack attacks a warning to business

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M e d i a

R e l e a s e

SENATOR THE HON RICHARD ALSTON Minister for Communications, the Information Economy and the Arts Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate

Alston says hack attacks a warning to business

The Minister for Communications, the Information Economy and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, today warned Australian businesses to double check the security of their websites and intranets following the outrageous and deplorable attacks on the Liberal Party website.

‘The Government has ensured that Australia has in place the laws and regulations needed to protect consumers, businesses and governments from these sorts of criminal activity,’ Senator Alston said.

‘The Commonwealth’s Crimes Act includes very stiff penalties for computer hacking offences. Inciting a person to commit an offence is also an offence.’

Senator Alston said that as a member of the Liberal Party he acknowledged the need for all organisations, especially political parties, to be vigilant in ensuring their online security.

‘The fact remains, however, that a Commonwealth offence has been committed against the Liberal Party,’ Senator Alston said.

‘The suggestion, and until the Australian Federal Police complete its investigation it is still only a suggestion, that this offence may have been incited by a member of the staff of the alternate Prime Minister of this nation is extremely disturbing.

‘Politicians and their staff have a special responsibility to the nation to ensure that their actions are above reproach. Australia cannot afford to have its progress in the Information Economy held back by these sorts of petty, childish and extremely damaging incidents.

‘Mr Beazley’s personal reputation has been tarnished by these incidents. The standing of his party has been lowered.

‘Labor stands condemned for its role in these hack attacks. If any good is to come from this, it can only be if all online users use this as a spur to increase the security of their online sites.’

Media Contact: Terry O’Connor, Minister’s office 0419 636 879 Cl 3 September 1998