New code for internet-connected devices to stop hackers


Speaking at the 2019 Home Affairs Industry Summit in Melbourne, Mr Dutton will unveil the draft code of practice, which has been developed with input from the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

The move would bring Australia into line with other countries such as Britain, which has also developed an industry code to help protect consumers from cyber crime.

Mr Dutton earlier this year successfully pushed for security ministers of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance countries to sign a statement of intent to address security shortfalls in internet-connected devices.

Cyber crime is a growing cost to the Australian economy, with the overall impact on businesses estimated to be in the billions of dollars every year.

Mr Dutton said the rapid growth in internet-connected devices had brought significant benefits to Australians but the industry needed to keep up with the threats.

“Many of these devices have poor cyber security features, posing risks to Australia families, our economy and national security,” Mr Dutton said.

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“The safety of Australians and the security of our economy is paramount. That’s why the Morrison government has developed a voluntary Code of Practice to inform industry about the cyber security features expected of these devices in Australia.

“Along with our Five Eyes partners we share the expectation that manufacturers should develop connected devices with security built-in by design.”

The government will also work with states and territories to develop the final version of the industry code.

There has been growing concern about how unprepared Australian homes and businesses are for cyber attacks and data breaches.

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A report released in August by research firm Security in Depth found reported cyber attacks against Australian businesses had increased more than 700 per cent since February last year, costing the nation $7.8 billion.

These included attacks by lone hackers, organised crime groups and “bad actors” working on behalf of foreign governments.

The draft code of practice for “internet of things” (IoT) devices will be released on Tuesday for public consultation, which will run until March next year.

Additional measures for lifting the security of internet devices are expected to be unveiled in the coming months as part of the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy.

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