The Australian government has decided to stop funding AusCERT and move to creating a computer emergency response team that look to provide an early warning system, according to The Australian. The new unit will be known as CERT Australia which “will now be the sole supplier of national CERT services to the community and the point of contact for international CERTs,” Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland said.
AusCERT, based in the University of Queensland, is primarily funded by the private sector though around Aus$250,000 is provided by government subscriptions. AusCERT had been in negotiations with the government for almost a year.
“We hope CERT Australia won“™t use taxpayer funds to duplicate the services of a not-for-profit organisation with a proven track record of delivering these services effectively for many years,“ Jeremy Crowley, director of AusCERT and IT Services at UQ, said. “However, we believe there is room for both teams to operate as CERT Australia has indicated it is primarily interested in helping protect critical infrastructure.“
The government’s decision was announced at the launch of a National Cyber Security Information Exchange in Sydney, Aus.
“CERT Australia represents the fulcrum of the business-government partnership on cyber security by providing business, for the first time, with a single point of contact with the government for (threat) information,” McClelland said. “And it must be a trusted broker of information for both the private sector and international internet community, while also being integrated with our national security and intelligence agencies.”