Infrastructure protection service up and running

Infrastructure protection service up and running

The Centre for Critical Infrastructure Protection, the New Zealand Government's high-level alert service for owners of vital infrastructure, is now fully up and running.

Director Mike Spring said the CCIP, which is run by the GCSB intelligence agency, now has eight staff in total, with the final member joining earlier this month.

The centre became fully staffed a little later than expected, he said, because "there was a lot of business for the SIS at the time", referring to the agency that vetted staff before they were able to start work.

The staff range in background from university graduates to more experienced members with backgrounds in the public and private sectors, Spring said. CCIP will spend $NZ580,000 on remuneration in the 2001-02 year.

The centre was established last year, with funding of $450,000 for 2001-02 and $847,000 for 2002-03, to provide alerts on serious IT threats to the country's basic infrastructure, including telecommunications, government, transport and the finance sector. The CCIP sends out high-level alerts only and doesn't repeat lower level alerts from CERT, the US computer emergency response team. CCIP's role includes examining viruses in its laboratory. Spring said things have gone smoothly so far, with no serious threats.

CCIP has been operating unofficially since late last year, Spring said.

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