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Monday, 24 April 2017 13:03

ISPs avoid adverse comment on Tehan's malware plan

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Australia's big ISPs have danced around a trial balloon launched by Dan Tehan, the Minister assisting the Prime Minister on Cyber Security, suggesting that the government may make ISPs responsible for blocking malware.

Tehan made the comments in an op-ed in The West Australian on Friday and was quoted as such in an article which ran in the same publication. (Unfortunately, The West Australian's website is a pay-only site, but Tehan's article is linked from here.)

However, at the same time Tehan said that "the plan did not amount to Web filtering and he claimed previous efforts to do so had been 'ill-advised'."

The West Australian also claimed that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had met representatives of telecommunications companies last week and told them that the government expected them to do more to combat suspect websites and online scams.

iTWire contacted Telstra, Optus, TPG and Vodafone, asking them for their response to the minister's proposal.

A Telstra spokesman said: "We agree that cyber security is the responsibility of both government and industry working in partnership. Cyber security is a team sport and we all have a role to play.

"Telstra actively collaborates with the government and our involvement in the inaugural Joint Cyber Security Centre in Brisbane is one way we actively collaborate with government and industry to respond to the ongoing cyber security threat.

"Telstra is constantly researching and introducing additional security measures to protect our customers."

An Optus spokesperson said the company would not be providing any comment.

A Vodafone spokesperson said: "The Vodafone security system is designed with multiple layers of protection, and includes technologies to detect malicious activity and help protect our customers from cyber-attacks.

"Our team of security experts continually analyse and monitor the threat landscape, and our systems for any suspicious activity. We also work closely with industry and authorities to share threat information in order to improve our defences."

TPG did not respond to iTWire's request.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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