Story image

Trans-Tasman partnership rallies against spam

16 Feb 2016

The Department of Internal Affairs has joined forces with the Australian Communications and Media Authority in an effort to right spam.

Following a revamped ‘memorandum of understanding’, the two organisations have committed to assisting each other in their respective anti-spam responsibilities. This includes sharing intelligence about phishing activity and malware.

“Spam, phishing and malware are problems that don’t pay attention to national borders. Increasingly, the only way to tackle these problems is through cooperation between countries,” ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman.

“The new agreement lifts the already close cooperation between New Zealand and Australia on spam and cyber security matters to a new level,” he says.

Malware is malicious software that gives unauthorised access to a computer, or causes damages or disruption to computer-based systems. Spam is one of the main methods used to propagate malware, and malware is also frequently used to send spam around the globe.

Maarten Quivooy, Department of Internal Affairs’ general manager of regulatory services, says phishing campaigns and malware delivered through spam continues to be an increasing challenge for regulatory authorities.

“Enabling the agencies to share intelligence, techniques and tools for combatting spam, as well as sharing information on phishing and malware delivered through spam demonstrates the close working relationship between the two regulators,” he explains.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre reported that malware was the predominant cybercrime threat affecting Australians in 2014.

Phishing uses fraudulent emails that appear to come from legitimate businesses to fool recipients into divulging personal information. Scammers may use victims’ information to steal money from their accounts, impersonate their identity, extort money from them and undertake other criminal activities.

In 2015, Australian victims of phishing scams have reported financial losses of over $850,000 to Scamwatch. New Zealand’s online safety organisation NetSafe reports monthly on common digital challenges that cause financial and emotional harm to New Zealanders.

Under the revamped agreement, the Department of Internal Affairs and the ACMA and will also share techniques and tools for countering spam, the organisations say.

The ACMA already shares its own Spam intelligence Database enforcement and analytical software with DIA.

The two organisations have a long-established history of successful collaboration in enforcing the spam legislation of both countries.

Interview: Culture and cloud - the battle for cybersecurity
ESET CTO Juraj Malcho talks about the importance of culture in a cybersecurity strategy and the challenges and benefits of a world in the cloud.
Enterprise cloud deployments being exploited by cybercriminals
A new report has revealed a concerning number of enterprises still believe security is the responsibility of the cloud service provider.
Ping Identity Platform updated with new CX and IT automation
The new versions improve the user and administrative experience, while also aiming to meet enterprise needs to operate quickly and purposefully.
Venafi and nCipher Security partner on machine identity protection
Cryptographic keys serve as machine identities and are the foundation of enterprise information technology systems.
Machine learning is a tool and the bad guys are using it
KPMG NZ’s CIO and ESET’s CTO spoke at a recent cybersecurity conference about how machine learning and data analytics are not to be feared, but used.
Seagate: Data trends, opportunities, and challenges at the edge
The development of edge technology and the rise of big data have brought many opportunities for data infrastructure companies to the fore.
Popular Android apps track users and violate Google's policies
Google has reportedly taken action against some of the violators.
How blockchain could help stop video piracy in its tracks
An Australian video tech firm has successfully tested a blockchain trial that could end up being a welcome relief for video creators and the fight against video piracy.