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Hacking course heads to Australia

Australian security company eSec is heading up a hacker course down under in an attempt to meet booming demand in the Asia-Pacific region.

SYDNEY, Australia--Australian e-commerce security company eSec has partnered with U.S.-based security-software developer and trainer Foundstone to bring Foundstone's Ultimate Hacking: Hands On course Down Under.

see roundup: Complete Code Red coverage "It's not an issue of demand, it's an issue of supply," said Foundstone Chief Technical Officer Stuart McClure. Asia-Pacific may be 18 months behind the United States in terms of security training and education abilities, but demand in the region for such skills has already caught up, according to McClure. "We can't keep up with the demand...We get two or three legitimate requests out of Asia-Pacific every week."

Even with a $2,388 ($4600 Australia dollars) price tag per head, "it's already created a stir," Keith Glennan, eSec's general manager for security consulting, said. In the United States, the intensive four-day course in how the hacking community works costs $3,995 per head and is always fully subscribed, according to Glennan.

While Australian businesses are not as serious about security as their U.S. counterparts, the recent Code Red worm and SirCam virus have caused companies to sit up and take notice, Glennan said, adding that he anticipated the course uptake by the local market to follow the U.S. lead.

"The biggest problem in Australia is the 'it'll be alright, mate' attitude," Glennan said. "They think, like lightning, the problem won't strike in the same place twice, but our attitude is if you've been burnt're likely to be burnt again."

"Part of the problem is that security administrators often don't know what they don't know. The beauty of this course is that it shows people security from both sides: the good guys and the bad guys," he added.

Also under the agreement, eSec will sell Foundstone's FoundScan Managed Vulnerability Assessment Service, which delivers automated security assessments. Foundstone recently announced a partnership with Taiwan-based network-security company Sysware, which will sell the same subscription service.

Staff writer Rachel Lebihan reported from Sydney.