blog Oh dear. The ABC’s Chris Uhlmann might be a fantastic political reporter, but there’s no doubt he’s a bit out of his depth when reporting on technology matters, as evidenced by a fascinating conversation he held yesterday on ABC News 24 with Defence Minister Stephen Smith. The topic: How the US and Australia are working together on cyber-security matters.
“Is it just defensive, or would you be looking at weapons for cyber space?”
The good Defence Minister replies:
“We’re looking at very much the defensive, to use the jargon, a defensive posture here.”
And then from Uhlmann again:
“And if you were looking at weapons you probably wouldn’t tell me?”
To which Smith replied:
“Well, I would certainly respond appropriately to any such question, but we’re looking at this as a defensive posture.”
Frankly, I’ve been working in and covering the technology industry for a decade now, and even I wouldn’t have any idea of what a “cyber space weapon” would look like or how you would develop one. The closest thing I can think of is the ping flooding bot which we used to knock my year 10 Computer Studies teacher’s dial-up connection off the internet. Or maybe he just disconnected because it had become useless.
Sure, there’s trojans, bots and so on — but can they really be classified as a “weapon”? It’s the same in terms of defence. Is it really useful for the US and Australia to talk about “cyber space defence”? Doesn’t this really just mean better intrusion prevention, firewalls, anti-spam and anti-virus and so on?
Somebody, please won’t somebody think of the routers??!