Mountain Life, with FogThe week of Monday 9 to Sunday 15 October 2017 was quite productive, as you’ll see. Read on!

Articles

The first of these articles is the final one related to the launch by foreign minister Julie Bishop of Australia’s first International Cyber Engagement Strategy. See last week’s wrap for the first two.

On Tuesday, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) released its 2017 Threat Report. The next day, at the national conference of the Australian Information Security Association (AISA), an Australian Defence Signals (ASD) officer told us more about an incident in that ACSC report.

Podcasts

None by me, but…

Media Appearances

Sydney Morning Herald front page, 12 Oct 2017Then the world decided to follow up my story on that Australian defence industry data breach.

It began in Australia and expanded from there, with stories in the Sydney Morning Herald (in the front page!); The Australian; ABC News; the Guardian; News.com.au; BuzzFeed; The Express in the UK; Voice of America; RT; Arab Times in Kuwait; via AAP to outlets including Sky News Australia; and via Reuters to others. If I tried to find them all, and link to them all, I’d be here all night.

I saw versions of the story in Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek, Indonesian. There were doubtless others. They’re just the ones I happened to see.

To quote ZDNet security editor Zack Whittaker in New York, it ran everywhere — and to be honest, that surprised me. I’ve covered cybersecurity, as we call it now, for a few years. This is a pretty ordinary event. It just happened to combine “mystery hacker”, with the controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, with the authority of an ASD officer.

On Thursday, I did media appearances on ABC News24; ABC Radio’s The World Today; ABC TV’s 7.30; and Channel Ten’s The Project. On Friday, I appeared on BBC World’s Newsday.

I can’t possible list all of the follow-ups, but here’s a few that I’d like to mention:

The story also morphed as it was re-reported, sometimes drastically changing the meaning of the event. One publication, which I won’t name, even reported that the ASD had been hacked, at least until I contacted them. I hope to find the time to write up that evolution, but for now here’s a few tweets.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday, there was food and drink at the AISA National Conference, which was held at the Hyatt Regency Sydney. Hivint offered a beer. I accepted. It was nice. Telstra gave me a t-shirt.

The Week Ahead, and Further Ahead

I’ll play it by ear. At this stage, there’s nothing special through to the end of the year, so now is your chance to fix that.

[Photo: Mountain Life, with Fog, The entry road to the Carrington Hotel, Katoomba, photographed through the evening fog on 10 October 2017.]

SkinkThe week of Monday 2 to Sunday 8 October 2017 was short and full of pain, a bit like Woody Allen. Monday was a public holiday, and the rest of the week was packed with media tasks.

Articles

Both articles relate to the launch by foreign minister Julie Bishop of Australia’s first International Cyber Engagement Strategy on Wednesday. There might be a third story next week.

Podcasts

None by me, but I’m the guest on the next episode of the Covert Contact podcast. It was recorded on Friday, and will appear on Monday — which may be Tuesday Australian time.

Media Appearances

  • This week Australia’s federal and state governments agreed to merge the state-held facial biometric databases for things like drivers licenses into the federal system. I spoke about that on ABC Adelaide on Wednesday afternoon, and ABC South East NSW on Thursday morning. I probably won’t have time to post the audio though.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday, there were nibbles to be eaten at that cyber policy launch.

The Week Ahead

Monday and Tuesday will be a confused mix of planning, administrivia, story pitches, geekery, shopping, and other errands up here in the Blue Mountains.

Wednesday and Thursday will be spent in Sydney. Mostly it’s to cover the national conference of the Australian Information Security Association (AISA), but that’s up against the grandly named Everything IoT Global Leadership Summit, so I might pop over to that for a while too.

Friday 13 October is clearly going to be a day of writing. The weekend is unplanned.

Further Ahead

I think I’ll have to drop my plan to cover Ruxcon in Melbourne on 21–22 October, because it’s only two weeks away and there isn’t actually a plan. If I do get the energy for crowdfunding, it should probably go towards other things.

At this stage, there’s nothing special through to the end of the year. Now is your chance to fix that.

[Photo: Skink, being a 25cm-long skink of unknown species photographed at Bunjaree Cottages on 6 October 2017.]

Sydney Harbour, after David MooreThe week of Monday 25 September to Sunday 1 October 2017 was made of Melbourne and back pain. One was good, the other less so.

Articles

Podcasts

None.

Corporate Largesse, Media Appearances

  • On Monday, in the wake of political SMS messages having been sent as part of Australia’s ludicrous same-sex marriage survey, I spoke about the law relating to these matters on ABC Adelaide and ABC Canberra. I probably won’t post these.
  • On Wednesday night, I spoke about the Digital Manipulation of Democracy for the Victorian Fabians in Melbourne. Video recordings of this event will be posted soon. Stay tuned.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday, there was of course food and drink at SINET61, held at the Four Seasons Sydney.
  • On Wednesday night, Victorian Fabians bought me dinner at the Captain Meville Hotel. They had of course covered my flights to and from Melbourne, and accommodation at the Jasper Hotel, but I was not paid for the gig.

The Week Ahead

Monday is a public holiday, and here I am writing for you. On Tuesday, I’m skipping the iappANZ Summit 2017 because I need to rest my back. I’ll be reading instead.

Wednesday sees a day trip to Sydney, where foreign minister Julie Bishop is launching Australia’s first International Cyber Engagement Strategy. I previewed the strategy last week, but will be writing further for ZDNet I’m sure.

Thursday onwards is unplanned, but I know I have some geekery to perform.

Further Ahead

Events I’m covering or speaking at include:

If there’s anything I should add in there, please let me know.

[Photo: Sydney Harbour, after David Moore. Sydney Harbour photographed from Virgin Australia flight VA859, a Boeing 737-800 registration VH-VUQ, on 30 September 2017. The style is similar to David Moore’s famous “Sydney Harbour from 16,000 feet” (1966) and related photos, but nowhere near as wonderful.]

Laneway GirlThe week of Monday 18 to Sunday 24 September 2017 saw a solid surge into spring. It’s frightening.

Friday 22 September was the hottest September day ever recorded in Sydney and across much of NSW. That night, at least up here in the Blue Mountains, the overnight minimum was so far above average that it was a degree warmer than the average maximum for that day.

The planet is not broken.

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm End of the World, But More So”, being The 9pm Edict episode 68, was finally produced on Thursday night. You can also listen to it on SoundCloud and Spreaker. Be warned, the pace of the news cycle means that some of it has already been overtaken by events.

Articles

I’ve also part-written a piece for ZDNet that’ll appear on Monday.

Corporate Largesse, Media Appearances

None, but that changes next week.

The Week Ahead

Monday sees me on a day trip to Sydney for routine back maintenance. Beforehand, I’ll finish a yarn for ZDNet. En route and afterwards, I’ll work on my presentation for Wednesday night.

On Tuesday, I’ll catch an early train to Sydney to cover the first day of SINET61, the second annual joint conference of the Security Innovation Network and Australia’s Data61. I’ll stay in Sydney overnight.

On Wednesday, I’m flying down to Melbourne. That evening I’m speaking at Digital Manipulation of Democracy, part of the Victorian Fabians’ Spring Series of events on “Digitisation and Democracy”.

I’m staying in Melbourne through to Saturday afternoon. On Thursday evening, I’m talking about cybers or tech or something on ABC Melbourne. That’s probably at 1930 AEST, but check Twitter on the day. The rest is unplanned, but I’ll think of something. Or you will.

Further Ahead

Events I’m covering or speaking at include:

If there’s anything I should add in there, please let me know.

Update 28 September: Edited to reflect cancellation of ABC Melbourne spot.

[Photo: Laneway Girl. A mural outside a nightclub on Earl Street in Sydney’s Kings Cross, photographed on 9 September 2017.]

Kim Jong-Un celebrating after the successful launch of the missile.  Reuters/KCNA

The 9pm Edict cover art version 2, 150 pixelsDo you think we’re close to a nuclear war breaking out? That’s just one of the trivial questions addressed in this podcast.

There’s also talk of gay marriage, racism, British tourists, more racism, and Senator Malcolm Roberts. And of course Nicholas Fryer takes a look through The Arch Window.

You can listen to the podcast above or below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe automatically in iTunes, or go to SoundCloud or Spreaker.

Play

Read the rest of this entry »

Hanging SwampThis Weekly Wrap covers two weeks, Monday 4 to Sunday 17 September 2017. Thank the gods, spring is rolling on, and I’ll be back to weekly posting soon.

The fortnight’s achievements included wrapping up work on that SEKRIT editorial project — I’ll post separately about that on Monday — and the news that I probably don’t have skin cancer.

“Say what?”

So yeah, a spot on my leg that’s been there for years had recently started growing. I did what all of you should do. Rather than ignoring it, I showed it to my GP. He was fairly sure it was nothing to worry about, but to be sure, we sought specialist advice.

A lovely dermatologist chappie quickly identified it as a traumatised angioma, as shown in figures 16 and 17. Mine isn’t as visually prominent as that one, and only half the length.

My GP’s response was dismissive. “Oh, so it’s a scratch,” he said.

He’s been my GP for more than 20 years. He takes liberties. Like eating sandwiches during consultations.

Anyway, on with the show… such that it is.

Articles, Podcasts, Corporate Largesse

None, but see below.

Media Appearances

  • On Tuesday 5 September, I spoke about the fragility of the internet on ABC Adelaide. As has been usual lately, I probably won’t post the audio.
  • On Thursday 14 September, Tim Burrowes and I spoke about Facebooks’s new advertising policies on ABC Radio’s The World Today.

The Week Ahead

The next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast will finally be recorded this Thursday 21 September at 2100 AEST. No really. As has become traditional, it’ll be streamed live via stilgherrian.com/edict/live/. You still have time to support this podcast with a one-off contribution.

Apart from that, I’ll be doing the usual mix of writing and complaining and stuff.

Further Ahead

Events I’m covering or speaking at include:

If there’s anything I should add in there, please let me know.

[Photo: Hanging Swamp. The view down into a valley at the terrain known locally as a hanging swamp. This example is at the side of the main track at Bunjaree Cottages, near Wentworth Falls. Photographed on 13 September 2017.]

Dawn at Wentworth FallsThis Weekly Wrap covers six weeks, Monday 24 July to Sunday 3 September 2017, because it was a Bad Time. Quite a bad time, clearly. But let’s focus on the good bits.

Articles

Podcasts

None, but I’ll announce my latest alleged plans in the next few days. Heh. Yeah, right.

Media Appearances

  • On Monday 24 July, I spoke about exploding batteries on ABC Melbourne.
  • On Wednesday 16 August, I speculated about Australia’s new cyberwar unit on ABC Adelaide.
  • On Tuesday 22 August, I spoke about a bunch of things on ABC Melbourne.

I probably won’t get around to posting the audio from these, but we’ll see.

Corporate Largesse

  • My flights from Sydney to Canberra and return on 11–12 August were provided by Australian consulting firm IBRS.
  • There was plenty of free food and drink at the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit on 21–22 August, as well as vendor swag. Crowdstrike: Branded webcam privacy covers. Cylance: Branded USB-to-various recharge cable. Thales: A branded lens kit for mobile devices, with macro and fisheye lenses; another of the excellent Thales pens. Trustwave: One of those credit card sized multi-purpose tools.

The Week Ahead

All I’ll say for now is that I’ll definitely be down in Sydney on Thursday for a couple of medical things. The rest I’ll make up as I go along. As always, watch for the details on Twitter.

Further Ahead

Events I’m covering or speaking at include:

If there’s anything I should add in there, please let me know.

[Photo: Dawn at Wentworth Falls, looking east from Wentworth Falls railway station on the chilly morning of 21 August 2017.]

Approaching Gold Coast AirportThis Weekly Wrap covers three weeks, Monday 3 to Sunday 23 July 2017, because I just simply didn’t get around to it. Sometimes the pace needs to be pulled back. Especially when you’re in Queensland.

There was plenty of productivity, but it was in the background. You’ll see hints of it in the lists.

Articles

Podcasts

None, but see below.

Media Appearances

  • On Wednesday 5 July, I spoke about the Medicare data breach and the dark web on ABC Adelaide.
  • On the same day, I spoke with journalism students at Macleay College about the tech press, and my thoughts on journalism generally. They’ve published an article and edited video.
  • On Friday 14 July, I spoke about the Australian government’s cryptography plans on ABC Perth.
  • On Thursday 20 July, I spoke about various ways to help secure your email on ABC Gold Coast.

I probably won’t get around to posting audio of those last two.

Corporate Largesse

None, apart from the food and drink provided at the conferences.

The Week Ahead

Monday through Wednesday will be days of writing and editing, for both ZDNet and the SEKRIT project. The latter is very close to completion now.

The next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast will finally be recorded this Thursday 27 July at 2100 AEST, and streamed live via stilgherrian.com/edict/live/. You still have time to support this podcast with a one-off contribution.

On Friday, I’m heading down to Sydney, and the University of NSW in particular, to help celebrate the 30th birthday of the Australian Privacy Foundation. How time flies.

Further Ahead

At some point between 26 and 28 July, I’m recording the pilot episode of a new podcast. Even though it’s a variant of The 9pm Edict, it won’t be streamed live. It’s a different sort of thing. Details soon.

Later in the year, I’m covering SINET61 on 26 to 27 September; the iappANZ Summit 2017 on 3 October; the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) in Sydney from 10 to 12 October; and Ruxcon in Melbourne on 21 to 22 October.

If there’s anything I should add in there, please let me know.

[Photo: Approaching Gold Coast Airport (OOL/YBCG) from the north, photographed on 16 July 2017 from Virgin Australia flight VA517, served that day by Boeing 737-800 registration VH-YVA.]

Taking off for new adventuresMy week of Monday 26 June to Sunday 2 July 2017 was strangely quiet, but also strangely productive. It’s a fine start for the new financial year.

I’m even fixing my broken time-management systems, and that’s just one of the reasons I finally feel like I’m climbing out of a low patch.

Articles

I wrote a second piece for ZDNet, which will be posted on Monday.

Media Appearances

On Tuesday night Australian time, the ransomware known variously as Petya or NotPetya amongst other things, spread across the planet. Inevitably, I ended up talking about it in the media on Wednesday. I did radio spots on 3AW Melbourne, ABC Brisbane (where I also spoke briefly about the €2.4 billion fine copped by Google), ABC Melbourne, and various ABC News reports. I also appeared on Channel TEN’s The Project.

And on Friday evening, I spoke about Australia’s new cyber warfare unit (briefly) and other matters with Peter Goers on ABC Adelaide.

Podcasts, Corporate Largesse

None. Read the rest of this entry »

Retired TerminalsMy week of Monday 19 to Sunday 25 June 2017 was delightfully unproductive, for various reasons that I won’t go into today. I can see again, however.

Articles, Podcasts, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None of these things happened.

The Week Ahead

I’ll be working on the SEKRIT editorial project, and completing it. Stay tuned. I also hope to write something for ZDNet. It’s also the last week of the financial year, however, so certain administrivia needs to be done. We’ll see.

Further Ahead

On Wednesday 5 July, I’m presenting to the journalism students at Macleay College in Sydney. I’m not sure whether you’ll be able to hear any more about that.

The next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast will be recorded and streamed live on Thursday 6 July from stilgherrian.com/edict/live/, starting at 2100 AEST. You still have time to support this podcast with a one-off contribution.

On Tuesday 11 July, I’m recording the pilot episode of a new podcast idea. More about that very soon.

On Wednesday 12 July, I’m covering the Data + Privacy Asia Pacific conference in Sydney.

I then hope to cover the 5th International Conference on Cybercrime and Computer Forensics (ICCCF) on the Gold Coast from 16 to 18 July, but I still have to organise the funding.

I’m then covering the national conference of the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) in Sydney from 10 to 12 October; and Ruxcon in Melbourne on 21 to 22 October.

If there’s anything I should add in there, please let me know.

[Photo: Retired Terminals. The corroded terminals on some of the 15-year-old lead-acid batteries retired from use at Bunjaree Cottages, photographed on 25 June 2017.]

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