Defence

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ABC logoAustralia is opening a new campaign in the seemingly never-ending Cyptowars. This time, the target is end-to-end encryption.

Our favourite attorney-general, Senator George Brandis QC, wants “the cooperation of companies like Apple and Facebook and Google and so on” to help the government break into encrypted communications. That cooperation would presumably extend to messaging apps that use end-to-end encryption, such as WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, and so on.

And cooperation would be ensured, thanks to new legal sanctions.

Brandis says he’s not interested in putting mandatory “back door” access into the encryption used by messaging platforms. But how can that be true when he’s asking for the tech companies to be able to provide access to customers’ encrypted messages? That’s exactly what a back door is.

Anyway, this morning I was interviewed on this topic by Fran Kelly on the ABC’s RN Breakfast. We spoke for more than seven minutes.

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The audio is ©2017 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and is being served directly from the ABC website.

For more analysis, try George Brandis’s salvo in cryptowars could blow a hole in architecture of the internet, by the Guardian’s Paul Farrell.

ABC Sydney TARDIS 1

ABC logoIn this month’s now semi-regular spot on ABC 774 Melbourne, it was only natural to talk about the Australian government’s new Cyber Security Strategy, as I did on four spots elsewhere last week.

But as you’ll hear, this 20-minute conversation with Lindy Burns on Tuesday night covered quite a bit of territory — even, briefly, the National Broadband Network.

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For further background material, see the first post in this series.

This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

[Photo: The view in ABC Radio’s Sydney TARDIS 1 just before I did this radio spot on 26 April 2016.]

ABC logoThis is the final radio spot of four that I did on Thursday to discuss Australia’s new Cyber Security Strategy.

For background on strategy itself, see the first post in this series.

This spot was on ABC 666 Canberra. The presenter was Adam Shirley.

Each of these spots varied in content and style. In this one, we discussed offensive cyber capabilities, the cyber arms race, whether the money is being well-spent, the difficulties of defending networks, the state of cybercrime, and what cyber attacks might involve.

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This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

2UE logoThis is the third of four radio spots I did on Thursday to discuss Australia’s new Cyber Security Strategy.

For background on strategy itself, see the first post in this series.

This spot was on Sydney commercial station 2UE. The presenter was Bill Woods.

Each of these spots varied in content and style. In this one, we discussed the importance of cyber security and its history, the Bureau of Meteorology hack and its timing, the assumption that our spooks do what other country’s spooks do, the difficulty of attribution, the difficulty of cyber security, the cost of cybercrime, China’s hack of US fighter aircraft programs, and Australia’s ability to cash in on the cyber skills shortage.

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This audio is ©2016 Fairfax Media.

ABC logoThis is the second of four radio spots I did on Thursday to discuss Australia’s new Cyber Security Strategy.

For background on strategy itself, see the first post in this series.

This spot was on ABC 936 Hobart. The presenter is Louise Saunders.

Each of these spots varied in content and style. In this one, we discussed why Turnbull spent so much time talking about the internet, why Australia needs such a strategy, Australia’s lack of awareness of cybercrime and our lack of data breach notification laws, the ASD’s role in protecting government networks, the cyber skills shortage, and the Cyber Security Growth Centre.

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This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoOn Thursday, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull released the government’s Cyber Security Strategy. Apart from writing about it for ZDNet, I ended up doing four radio spots. This is the first.

In this first post, I’ll mention as background reading the official Cyber Security Strategy website, the ZDNet stories Australia to get Cyber Minister as part of AU$240m cyber package and Turnbull calls for more openness surrounding data breaches, and my articles A ‘big science’ approach for Australian cybersecurity research? (published before the strategy was released, based on presentations at the ACSC Conference), and Turnbull sets the scene for a ‘Stop the Bytes’ election.

This first radio spot was on ABC 105.7 Darwin in the early morning, before the strategy was officially released. The presenter is Richard Margetson.

Each of these spots varied in content and style. In this one, we covered the recent rapid rise in cybercrime, the allegedly Chinese hack of the Bureau of Meteorology, a grab from Dr Tobias Feakin, and Australia’s ability to conduct offensive cyber operations.

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This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoEarlier this month I was in Melbourne to speak at Pause Fest, as well as talk to the media about some of the issues surrounding digital surveillance and privacy.

Here’s the 19-minute conversation I had with Lindy Burns on ABC 774 Melbourne on Wednesday 10 February. As usual, we rambled all over the landscape of the topic, but I think you’ll find it interesting.

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This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

[Note: Yes, I’m catching up on my blog posts, I should have them all caught up within the next 24 hours.]

ABC logoAnonymous was back in the news last week following their declaration of war against Islamic State, and the declaration of last Friday as a day of trolling against IS.

On Tuesday night, I spoke about the “organisation” and its history with ABC 774 Melbourne evening presenter Lindy Burns.

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The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

ABC logoOne of the more amusing information security stories last week was the news that CIA director John Brennan’s personal email account at AOL had been taken over by a couple of young hackers.

I ended up providing a few comments on ABC Radio’s PM on Thursday.

It’s a situation that would be deeply embarrassing for any CEO but for the director of the CIA to have his private email account accessed by hackers is beyond humiliating. Leaked emails appear to discuss the use of torture and to contain extensive details of the CIA chief’s private life. The CIA has condemned the hack as a crime, saying the hacked email was a family account. PM has obtained an interview with two people who claim to be the hackers. Sarah Dingle reports.

Here’s the entire 4-minute radio story.

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The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and is being served directly from the program website, where there’s also a transcript.

FIVEaa logoThe (relatively) new Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) released its first-ever unclassified threat report yesterday, but as I wrote at ZDNet, I was disappointed.

The report (PDF) has dropped, and indeed it contains few surprises. It tells the now-familiar story of serious and organised criminals, foreign state-sponsored actors, and other “cyber adversaries”, all of whom are getting better at what they do.

“The cyber threat to Australian organisations is undeniable, unrelenting and continues to grow. If an organisation is connected to the internet, it is vulnerable. The incidents in the public eye are just the tip of the iceberg,” begins the report’s foreword.

“Cyber adversaries are aggressive and persistent in their efforts to compromise Australian networks and information. They are constantly improving their tradecraft in an attempt to defeat our network defences and exploit new technologies,” it says later.

“Australia is an innovative country with a globally important resources sector. We are a regional leader with global interests and important partnerships. This makes Australia a target-rich environment for cyber adversaries.”

All of which is true, of course, but all of which has been said so many times before.

I spoke about the report today with Will Goodings on 1395 FIVEaa Adelaide — with somewhat less disappointment in my voice.

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The audio is ©2015 Nova Entertainment.

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