Weekly Wrap 412: Cyber in Canberra, then SEKRIT things

Parliament House, CanberraI was a busy possum during the two weeks from Monday 9 to Sunday 22 April 2018. The first week was spent in Canberra covering some cyber events, and the second was spent writing, and working on the SEKRIT editorial project which I’ll tell you a tiny amount about… now!

I’m the series editor on a project for Crikey, one that they’ve crowdfunded via a Pozible project called Crikey Digs. Some of you may have seen me tweet that part of it is about businesses that misuse Australians’ personal data, or trade it in a dodgy way. More will be revealed in the coming week.

Meanwhile, all these things…

Articles

Media Appearances

I’ve fallen out of the habit of posting the audio from my radio spots. Would you like me to return to that habit?

Podcasts

None. However see below for a bit of a plan.

Corporate Largesse

  • There was plenty of food and drink at the ACSC Conference in Canberra, though I skipped most of the functions.

The Week Ahead

The next few weeks see me based in Ashfield, Sydney, working through the SEKRIT editorial project, and writing for ZDNet much as usual. I’m hoping to get some walking in, however, and I might post some stuff about the places I visit, including photos.

On Tuesday night I’m doing a radio spot for ABC Melbourne, some time between 1900 and 2200 AEST. We haven’t locked in the time yet.

Wednesday is Anzac Day. It’s a public holiday, so I may take it easy. But I also might get up early for the Dawn Service. Undecided.

Further Ahead

The next episode of The 9pm Edict, will be recorded and streamed live on Tuesday 8 May at 2100 AEST.

Other things I’ve pencilled in:

[Photo: Parliament House, Canberra, photographed on 13 April 2018.]

Weekly Wrap 385: Fog, a hack, and a mystery happy fun time

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.]

Weekly Wraps 350 to 357: Gosh is that the time?

Sunset over Ho Chi Minh CityThis Weekly Wrap is actually eight Weekly Wraps in one, covering Monday 6 February to Sunday 2 April 2017, numbers 350 to 357. Eight times the value!

Of these four weeks, I’ve spent roughly a week each in San Francisco, Ho Chi Minh City, and Canberra. I also visited a Cold War relic near San Francisco, namely Nike Missile Site SF-88L at Fort Barry. Other stuff happened too.

There’s so much in this Eight-Week Wrap, the bulk of it is over the fold. I won’t be able to list all the highlights, but I will mention two of the lowlights. I caught a conference plague, which slowed me down a bit. And my stress and anxiety levels, which had not been declining, went through the roof. And they’re still there.

This health issue is being addressed, so no sympathy is needed. (Instead, perhaps send me a tip to help with the revenue shortfall, especially with the low-reveue holiday periods of Easter and Anzac Day coming up.) But it does mean that my alleged plans for the next few weeks should be taken with an even bigger grain of salt than usual.

Continue reading “Weekly Wraps 350 to 357: Gosh is that the time?”

Weekly Wrap 336: Quieter, with another omnishambles

The dragon is sleeping: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 31 October to Sunday 6 November 2016 was quieter than the previous two, deliberately, and I’m grateful for that.

Articles

Podcasts

None, but check out the week ahead. There’ll be three!

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

It’s a busy one, punctuated by travel from Sydney up to Bunjaree Cottages in the Blue Mountains on Tuesday afternoon, and travel back down on Thursday.

I’m finishing an op-ed for SBS TV. I’m finishing the production of three podcasts, namely The 9pm Edict Public House Forum 4, and two episodes of Corrupted Nerds from the Ruxcon information security conference. And I’m writing at least one piece for ZDNet.

On top of that, there’s work on the various geek-for-hire projects.

None of this work has been allocated to specific days. There’s still some uncertainty, including a chance the travel might be cancelled.

Further Ahead

This information is now on the new calendar page, Stilgherrian in Public.

Update 7 November 2016: Edited to reflect schedule changes.

[Photo: The dragon is sleeping, being a decaying roof in Lilyfield in Sydney’s inner west, photographed on 6 November 2016.]

Weekly Wrap 333: The sniffly calm before the cyber storm

Sydney Harbour Bridge and its southern approaches: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 10 to Sunday 16 October 2016 was another one full of snuffles, but that’s not all. I’m not telling you the rest, though.

Articles

Media Appearances

Podcasts, Corporate Largesse

None. But in the coming week…

The Week Ahead

Monday and Tuesday are about planning, research, and errands. Monday’s errand is to Parramatta, Tuesday’s to Hornsby. There’s a slight chance I’ll get that episode of The 9pm Edict podcast recorded, but don’t hold your breath.

And then it’s all the cybers…

On Wednesday and Thursday I’m covering the AISA National Conference in Sydney. On Friday it’s a medical appointment before flying to Melbourne. Then on Saturday and Sunday I’m covering the Ruxcon Security Conference, where I’m also on the closing panel.

Further Ahead

I’ll be in Melbourne through to 30 October. One important event is on the evening of Wednesday 29 October, when I’m MCing a panel for La Trobe University, Big Data and Cybersecurity: Are We Ready?.

And the rest? I’ve created a new calendar page, Stilgherrian in Public, updated automatically from the calendar on my laptop.

[Photo: Sydney Harbour Bridge and its southern approaches , photographed on 30 October 2012.]

Weekly Wrap 306: Via Bundanoon to a cyber-filled Canberra

Waiting at Bundanoon: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 11 to Sunday 17 April 2016 began in chaos, but ended with a few wins — with most of it being spent in Canberra.

I was well impressed with the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Conference. I learned a lot, met some people that were handy to meet, and gathered plenty of material for future stories. And the train journeys there and back were delightful.

Articles

Both of these articles came from the ACSC Conference. Another will appear at ZDNet on Monday. More material from the conference will doubtless emerge in coming weeks.

Podcasts

None.

Media Appearances

There’s nothing that involved me directly. But my name cropped up incidentally in a story at The Independent, Australia has a new $5 dollar note and people think it looks like ‘vomit’. And one of my tweets ended up becoming part of the headline in a New Matilda story, Tiger Airways’ “Modern Theory Of Gender”.

I’ve also just discovered that one of my photos was used to illustrate a Mother Nature Network story, Take up the cause to help bees and butterflies pollinate, back on 25 March.

Corporate Largesse

  • While I made my own way to Canberra this week, there was plenty of sponsored food and drink and swag. This is not a full list of what was on offer, just what I happened to grab, or that was included in the conference satchel. BT had sunglasses. Cisco was giving away mints. f5 Networks had a crank-recharging LED torch. Fortinet sponsored the excellent conference backpack, a Crumpler that normally retails for more than $100. Juniper Networks sponsored the conference dinner at the Australian Institute of Sport, and were giving away Smarties. LogRhythm gave away Cylon Bluetooth Headphones. Nuix had playing cards. ObserveIt had one of those handy USB-to-everything charging cables. RSA had a notebook and pen, as well as the much-appreciated post-dinner Berocca. And Thales had more of those pens with the secret screwdrivers inside.

The Week Ahead

It turns out that I’ll probably be spending the whole week in Sydney, staying at my usual SEKRIT cave in Lilyfield.

On Monday, I’m writing a thing or two for ZDNet. I’m also going to a lunchtime briefing by Nuix on cybercrime — which should be interesting, because it’s co-sponsored by the Walkley Foundation and chaired by legendary Australian investigative journalist Kate McClymont.

On Tuesday, I’m writing for Crikey for the first time in ages, then working on my much-delayed geek-for-hire projects.

On Wednesday, I’m doing the long commute in reverse, catching the train to Wentworth Falls to collect my recording equipment, and returning to Sydney the same day. Research and writing will be done en route.

Thursday is a combination medical and writing day. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull is releasing the government’s much-delayed Cyber Security Strategy. Thanks to iTnews journalist Allie Coyne, well already know what’s in it, but I’m almost certain to have more to say once we we have the full text. In between all that, I’ll have two medical appointments.

On Friday, I’ll start work on a new episode of The 9pm Edict podcast. That may or may not have an Anzac Day theme, given that it’s then going to be the long weekend with Anzac Day on Monday. But we’ll see.

Friday will also see the release of an episode of Steve Molk’s podcast Humans of Twitter consisting of the interview we recorded last week.

Further Ahead

I’m going to the Amazon Web Services Summit Sydney on 27-28 April. And on 24-27 May, I’m covering the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference on the Gold Coast.

[Photo: Waiting at Bundanoon. An older couple waits, watching the Canberra-to-Sydney Xplorer pass through Bundanoon railway station, 150km south-west of Sydney, on 15 April 2016.]