Australian Education Department Seeks To Build ‘Unhackable’ Netbook Network

ITNews, an Australian business publication, is reporting that the Department of Education of the state of New South Wales is using a variety of management software and techniques ‘to roll out 240,000 netbook computers into what CIO Stephen Wilson calls "the most hostile environment you can roll computers into" – the local high school.’ Students are offered a netbook in 9th grade through 12th and can keep them if they graduate.

The reason for the Department’s optimism is Windows 7 and a highly-managed network using Microsoft’s System Centre (that’s Anglo for "Center") Configuration Manager, Remedy suite for asset management, Active Directory for authentication, and Aruba’s Airwave for wireless network management. Tracking software is embedded at the BIOS level and each unit is password-protected. Embedded RFID tags will make the units individually identifiable even if they are completely non-functional.

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