New service allows governments to block malicious web traffic – The Australian Financial Review

Federal, state and local government entities will be able to opt in to a new layer of cyber protection that will automatically block connections to criminal websites aiming to spread malicious software into critical agencies.
The service will automatically check incoming and outgoing network traffic against a list of known websites and email services considered to be suspicious.
Andrew Hastie: “A single malicious connection could result in a government network being vulnerable to attack or compromise.”  AAP
The Australian service will partner with Nominet Cyber, a firm that helps provide the British government’s Protective Domain Name Service.
Assistant Minister for Defence Andrew Hastie will announce the Australian Protective Domain Name Service (AUPDNS) at the Protective Security in Government conference being held virtually on Thursday. The service will be operated by the Australian Cyber Security Centre.
“Government networks provide the essential services that Australians rely upon, such as healthcare and education,” Mr Hastie said.
“A single malicious connection could result in a government network being vulnerable to attack or compromise, so it’s vital we do everything we can to prevent cyber criminals from gaining a foothold.”
AUPDNS was used during the latest census and Mr Hastie said it processed about 200 million queries, blocking more than 10,000 connections to known malicious domains that might have caused phishing or ransomware attacks
“The AUPDNS has already analysed over 10 billion queries and blocked over 1 million connections to malicious domains, and this technology formed part of the defensive suite that helped to protect this year’s digital census,” Mr Hastie said.
He will use his speech on Thursday to urge Australian businesses to join the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s partnership program in an effort to have more firms contributing to current cyber threat information, hopefully resulting in the ability to stop attacks before they start.
“For example, during a recent cyber incident, a healthcare organisation reported a ransomware incident to the ACSC and provided access to the malware used for that attack – one that crippled critical services to patients requiring urgent care,” he said.
“The ACSC was able to not only assist that affected organisation directly, but also alert others who were potential targets.”
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