ISPs request changes to Australian Internet Security Initiative

More detailed information on malware infections needed

ISPs have suggested improvements to the Australian Internet Security Initiative (AISI) portal including more detailed information on malware infections.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) - which operates the AISI portal - asked 24 ISPs between February and March to suggest improvements to the AISI program, daily AISI reports and the website.

Participants were satisfied with the current AISI email reports but suggested ACMA provide additional information, in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs), on the website for participants and customers such as individuals and small businesses.

This would include items such as how the data is captured, how customers are affected and what information the AISI is unable to provide.

AISI participants also suggested a self-help website, where affected customers could learn what to do to prevent and address malware infections, access more information on specific malware infections and search for incidents.

“While the ACMA agrees this information would be beneficial to customers, the fast pace of change of malware infections means that providing comprehensive definitive advice is challenging,” the organisation said in a statement.

“The ACMA will look at ways to provide more detailed and helpful information on malware infections, which may include linking to other government sites containing this information. “

Another suggested improvement was for the AISI portal to enable instant and automated queries from the AISI data. For example, when a customer rings a customer care service with a query, the service staff member could send an automated query to the AISI portal to determine whether that customer has had any recent malware incidents.

However, this development will require considerable resources to implement and will be considered as part of future portal development activities.

In addition, the survey found that some AISI participants feel there is insufficient information about particular AISI infection types in the AISI section of the ACMA website, which currently only describes the most prevalent types of malware infections.

“Potentially, the ACMA could consider enhancing the AISI section of its website or the AISI portal to contain more detailed information about the infection types currently being reported through the AISI.

"However, given there are over 750 malware types identified in the ACMA database, and new types are constantly emerging, this would be very resource-intensive to maintain. It is beyond the ACMA’s current resourcing capability to provide comprehensive information about all the malware infections it reports through the AISI."

The ACMA aims to publish a one to two page document that would provide links to websites such as Stay Smart Online, and general information about what to do about malware infections or emerging risks. This would be made available on the AISI portal for ISPs to use.

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Tags internet securityAustralian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)Australian Internet Security Initiative (AISI)

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