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BBC World Service logoMonday night’s Four Corners episode claimed, amongst other thing, that Chinese hackers had stolen the plans to the new headquarters of the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). It made global news, and as a result, I ended up being interviewed on the BBC World Service program World Have Your Say.

The 15-minute live panel discussion also included Four Corners journalist Andrew Fowler, one of the BBC’s journalists based in China, and a journalist from The New York Times.

I quite enjoyed the chat, but it also showed how new all this stuff is to a mainstream audience.

Here’s the audio of the full 30-minute program. It starts off with a discussion of the current situation in Syria, and then we start at about the 14-minute mark.

Play

The audio is of course ©2013 British Broadcasting Corporation. The audio player is linked directly to the BBC’s copy of the MP3 file. If that ever breaks, let me know and I’ll post my copy.

Welcome to the People's Democratic Republic of Burwood: click to embiggenThe week of Monday 4 to Sunday 10 February 2013 was… in the past. Shit, it’s already Wednesday night! I’ll just post this here now, with little commentary.

Well, one comment. We do seem to be getting back into the writing thing for 2013.

Articles

Podcasts

None. But wait.

Media Appearances

  • On Thursday I spoke about Twitter and TV on ABC Radio National’s Media Report.
  • Also on Thursday, I spoke about various internet things with Dom Knight on ABC 702 Sydney. I may or may not post the audio. Although I recorded it, there’s a chunk missing because mobile internet.
  • On Friday, I spoke about The Global Mail on Radio 2SER’s Fourth Estate.

Corporate Largesse

Still none. Was it something I said?

The Week Ahead

It’s half gone, and I’m making it up as I go along. But Sunday morning I fly to Maroochydore for Kickstart Forum 2013, so I’ll probably be in Sydney on the weekend.

[Photo: Welcome to the People's Democratic Republic of Burwood, being a picture of a building in Sydney's suburbs that disturbs me, photographed from a moving train.]

Screenshot of NYTimes.com: click for original storyOn 31 January The New York Times reported that it had been hacked by China, their networks penetrated for some four months. The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post too. So naturally I ended up writing about it.

For Crikey I wrote China not the only ones taking part in cyber spookery, which puts these attacks in the context of the online espionage and sabotage operations of recent years.

“Countless organisations have experienced the same scenario in recent years,” I wrote. “But it’s big news this time because journalists were the targets.” Cynical, perhaps, but I gather security über-expert Bruce Schneier said much the same thing, so I’m kinda chuffed.

And for CSO Online I wrote Chinese attacks show up useless infosec, again.

“Recent attacks on US newspapers are further proof that, despite making billions, the information security industry is pretty much screwed,” it begins. That one won’t make me any friends. So nothing new there.

I must admit, I found both stories fairly straightforward to write. I guess I’ve been writing about this stuff long enough to feel confident about it.

China has denied the accusations, of course.

As it happens, this week’s On the Media podcast from WNYC begins with a six-minute backgrounder on the hacks which is well worth the listen.

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets and in the media and so on and so forth — and this week it seems like I’ve been consuming more food and drink than producing media.

Articles

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 66, “Inside the internet’s China syndrome”. A conversation with infosec specialist Crispin Harris about that story of China supposedly hijacking 15% of the world’s internet traffic for 18 minutes back in April. Needless to say, the story is somewhat of an exaggeration. I’m pleased with the opening montage on the program.

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

With six bullet points in this section — four of them from the one day! — and it still being November, there’s clear evidence that my liver may not survive until the actual day of Christmas. Wish me luck.

  • The Australian Communication Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) fed me lunch while I gave them a briefing on the National Broadband Network on Tuesday. My largess to them is probably worth more than theirs to me.
  • I had cakes and other sweet items while attending the eCrime Symposium on Thursday. The organisers also gave me a bottle of Yering Station pinot noir.
  • AARNet paid for lunch at Est Restaurant while their CEO Chris Hancock gave us a briefing on their plans on Thursday.
  • Nate Cochrane, editor in chief for some of Haymarket Media’s mastheads in Australia including iTnews.com.au, bought me a couple of beers while we discussed the media industry in Australia and the future of journalism.
  • I popped into a drinks session being staged by Securis Global, and they bought me a couple of beers.
  • Continuing the busy Thursday, I went to the CBS Interactive Christmas Party at The Italian Village in The Rocks. ZDNet.com.au is one of their mastheads and I file stories for them, so I’m not sure if this actually counts. But someone from one of Microsoft’s PR firms bought me a double scotch, so that definitely counts.

Elsewhere

Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: A platform sign at Erskineville station, Sydney. I have no idea why I took this photograph, so obviously you need to see it too.]

The 9pm EdictGoogle takes on China. Internet heavies and clueful people rip into Australia’s mandatory censorship plan. And Senator Conroy says he will release the NBN report… in May.

Here is episode 8 of The 9pm Edict.

You can listen to this episode below. But if you want them all, subscribe to the podcast feed, or even subscribe automatically in iTunes.

Play

For more information about tonight’s rant, you can check out my story for Crikey about Refused Classification, the Facebook sacking of Chelsea Taylor, a Google News search for Google versus China and Tony Abbott’s victory speech.

And here’s the story about the National Broadband Network report which I didn’t cover.

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

[Credits: The 9pm Edict theme by mansardian, Edict fanfare by neonaeon, all from The Freesound Project. Photograph of Stilgherrian taken 29 March 2009 by misswired, used by permission.]

Crikey logo

Despite all the news about Google being, it is alleged, hacked by attackers in China, from an Australian perspective China probably isn’t our main problem.

I made this point in Crikey‘s lead story yesterday, quoting a security consultant at a leading outsourcing firm.

Australian attacks targeting the private sector have come from other so-called ‘friendly countries’. Which country is a problem closely correlates with business competition in the particular sector…

You could pick any one of our major trading partners and I could tell you a story about a sophisticated and well-executed attack sourced from that country. Examples at the top of my mind include Japan, Canada, US, India and France.

The story is free to read. Do click through.

ZDNet Australia logo: click for Patch Monday episode 26

Privacy issues on the Patch Monday podcast this week.

Contactless EFTPOS and credit cards that allow you to make payments without a signature or entering a PIN, and the vast honey pot of personal data that is Google. It’s not just Gmail, but everything else.

My guest is the Chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation, Professor Roger Clarke.

You can listen below. But it’s probably better for my stats if you listen at ZDNet Australia or subscribe to the RSS feed or subscribe in iTunes.

Please, let me know what you think. We now accept audio comments too. Either Skype to “stilgherrian” or phone Sydney 02 8011 3733.

Stilgherrian’s links for 28 August 2009 through 09 September 2009, gathered automatically and then forgotten until today:

NICTA Techfest 2009 logo

Today NICTA is showcasing its latest ICT research and development at Techfest 2009 — and I’ll be liveblogging it right here.

NICTA is Australia’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Centre of Excellence. It focuses on research which can then be commercialised in areas including biomedical and life sciences; intelligent transport systems; safety and security; environmental management; mobile systems and services; and software infrastructure.

The keynote is being given by Dr Ya-Qin Zhang, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft and Chairman of the Microsoft China R&D Group. I’ll be covering that if nothing else.

I’m not sure if the rest of the day is formal presentations (which I’ll liveblog) or a series of meet-and-greets and show-and-tells (which I’ll cover as best I can).

Bookmark this page and come back. We’ll start at about 11am Sydney time live from Australian Technology Park in Sydney.

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