A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. This week was mostly about the AusCERT information security conference on the Gold Coast, although a few things relating to the previous week dribbled through.
- Patch Monday episode 88, “Social business + cloud != revolution”, based on material recorded at NetSuite’s SuiteWorld conference the previous week.
What a lot of articles we have this week! I was covering AusCERT as part of the ZDNet Australia team, and the Technology Spectator article was actually written the week before. There’ll be more AusCERT articles next week.
- AusCERT 2011: Firms ignore ID theft risk, for ZDNet Australia, which is based on some of Bennett Arron’s comments during the conference’s opening keynote.
- AusCERT 2011: Son of Stuxnet within a year: expert, ZDNet Australia. The source code for Stuxnet is out there. Security analyst Eric Byres reckons that’ll show everyone how to make sophisticated malware, and the “Russian business network” will be first off the rank.
- Privacy is a commodity, for Technology Spectator, in which I bite the hand that feeds me by criticising the comment they use.
- AusCERT 2011: Black hats and whitegoods, for ZDNet Australia. We’re creating the Internet of Things by turning everything into a network device. But when was the last time you heard an appliance manufacturer talking about network security? CBS Interactive’s Brian Haverty came up with the OARSUM headline.
- AusCERT 2011: Bank theft goes truly mobile, for ZDNet Australia.
- AusCERT 2011: Silent victims thwart cybercops: Qld Police, for ZDNet Australia.
- Qld cops denounce ‘ethical hacking’, for ZDNet Australia. This headline is a bit of a misdirection. Ethical hacking is generally when the target has given permission, such as when someone is hired to do penetration testing. The kind of hacking games at black hat conferences, which is what Detective Superintendent Brian Hay was talking about, probably don’t fit into this category.
- I was asked to do a bit of trickery before Bennett Arron’s keynote at AusCERT. It didn’t go quite as planned. When Munir Kotadia produced the Day 1 Highlights video, he made sure that no-one forgot.
- I travelled to the Gold Coast for the AusCERT Conference on information security. My air fares, accommodation and breakfast were covered by CBS Interactive, ZDNet Australia’s parent company, as is normal for freelancers so that doesn’t count as largesse. AusCERT provided free conference entry, as is normal for any media attending, and that included meals and drinks at the social events. In the goodie bag was: webroot Personal Security and Mobile Security for Android from, erm, webroot; notebooks from webroot and Juniper Networks; PostIt-style thingies from Symantec; pens from RSM Bird Cameron, Citrix, Netgear and M86 Security; a Rubik’s Cube from WatchGuard; 3D glasses from SecurityLab; a yoyo from McAfee; and, via a voucher, an AusCERT conference t-shirt. I’ll have more to say about this later. I was also given a t-shirt by Sophos and a stubbie holder from Splunk.
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: Sunrise over the Pacific, Surfer’s Paradise, taken from my room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in 17 May. I didn’t really bother trying to take a good photo, it’s just a snapshot from my phone. Sometimes I wonder why I bother.]
[Update 3 May 2013: Edited to fix broken link to Patch Monday podcast.]
11 days, I kick off a week and a half of travel. I’ve already mentioned that on 9 May I’m heading to San Francisco for NetSuite’s SuiteWorld event. The very day that I return to Sydney, 15 May, I’m leaving again for the Gold Coast to cover the AusCERT 2011 information security conference as part of the ZDNet Australia team for CBS Interactive.
I haven’t even begin to think about what’s happening there. I’m assuming that a production meeting some time this coming week will help. But I figured I should at least mention it in case you’re going and want to meet up.
I do know that the following Monday’s episode of the Patch Monday podcast will include material from AusCERT. But I’m also doing news-cycle journalism, because in essence I’m filling the gap in ZDNet’s coverage created by journalist Darren Pauli leaving to start his new job as editor of SC Magazine. So there’ll be plenty for me to do. It’ll be hectic.
[Updated 9.50pm: Edited to show the correct number of days until I leave. See, I’m so stressed I can’t even count.]
“Be afraid. Be very afraid. Online criminals are after your personal data. They’re smart. They’re professional. They’re efficient. Meanwhile, those guarding your data are overloaded, under-coordinated and, often, under-trained.”
That’s how I started a piece in Crikey on Tuesday, written after the general manager of AusCERT had given his scary presentation.
UK banks are now seeing criminals correlating data captured from different malware runs, compiling detailed personal profiles. That information is then used to target specific individuals in corporations with an email that looks so legitimate they can’t help but click through – targeting, say the CFO who knows about planned company mergers or the discover of a new oil field. The aim? Advantage on the stock market.
The article is free to read, so off you go!
Stilgherrian’s links for 11 June 2009 through 13 June 2009, gathered with tenderness and love. Especially love.
- The Poll Cruncher | Pollytics: How trustworthy is the result of an opinion poll? This handy little tool allows you to enter the sample size and the result, and it gives you the margin of error. Assuming, of course, that the poll was conducted randomly and ethically in the first place.
- What’s Your Professional Reputation? | Pollytics: Possum interprets the latest results from the Roy Morgan poll of public perceptions of ethics and honesty for various professions. As usual, newspaper journalists and car salesmen are down the bottom. Possum creates a nice little interactive graph showing how the result have changed each year since 1979.
- Nineteen Eighty-Four turns sixty | Inside Story: Brian McFarlane’s take on the 60th anniversary of the publication of Orwell’s classic. Somehow, while talking about film adaptations and connections to Phillip K Dick, he completely fails to mention Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.
- Dear Global Service Direct, where is my Snuggie? | Crikey: Crikey‘s coverage of their interactions with the Snuggie has the potential to become quite obsessive. In a good way. However this silly exchange of emails with Snuggie’s sellers contain one of the best customer service responses ever: “I wish I could do more but I am just a pawn.” Also, a graph.
- From little things… | RN Future Tense: This episode of ABC Radio National’s Future Tense included an interview with ActionAid Australia’s Archie Law about Project TOTO, as well as some great stuff about innovative uses of telecommunications technology in Kenya and India. Internet via bus, anyone?
- William Langewiesche on Somali pirates | vanityfair.com: Feature article on the incident where French luxury cruise ship Le Ponant was targeted by Somali pirates.
- louder than swahili: The blog of Pernille, a 37yo Scandinavian woman who’s been living in Tanzania since 2007, and most recently before that spent 26 months among Sudanese refugees along and across the Ugandan border to Southern Sudan.
- A Never Ending Race | absolutelybangkok.com: Bangkok in 2015 is a paranoid short yarn from Yan Monchatre, a French cartoonist and illustrator who’s resident in Bangkok.
- The First Few Milliseconds of an HTTPS Connection | Moserware: A deep, deep explanation of what happens when your web browser creates an encrypted connection to a website.
- mHITs: An Australian company providing the technology to pay by mobile phone. Currently seems to be limited to food and drink, and to a handful of venues in Canberra and Sydney.
- The United Republic Consulate of Tanzania Consulate: This is, I hope, the official website of the Consulate for Tanzania in Melbourne. It’s not particularly reassuring when the home page’s title bar reads: “::Welcom to Company Name::”.
- Rise of online mercenaries | Australian IT: Steven Bellovin, professor of computing science at Columbia University, predicts the rise of online mercenaries using techniques going back 200 years to letters of marque and reprisal, where governments commission somebody to attack another government’s assets with perfect immunity under law. The story’s a couple weeks old but still relevant.
Stilgherrian’s links for 01 May 2009 through 07 May 2009, pubished wl late in the week for your weekend reading pleasure:
- VideoLAN: I was surprised to discover quite a few people who didn’ know about this free open source video player. It’s very good, you know, handling both downloaded files and live streams.
- The Iremonger Award | Allen & Unwin: A $10,000 prize for someone who was an idea for a non-fiction book which will “contribute to public debate on a contemporary Australian political, social or cultural issue”. Entries close 1 September 2009.
- Control freaks don’t get it: the web works best in a free-for-all | The Observer: John Naughton says it all on the 50th anniversary of C P Snow’s famous meme, the mutual incomprehensible “two cultures” of science and the “literary intellectuals”. But now, the two cultures are very different.
- Defence needs a plan for the Internet age | Tom Worthington via Link: Tom says the Australian government’s new defence white paper is deficient in not mentioning “Internet” or “web” at all. The section on cyber warfare envisages military personnel and scientists operating a “Cyber Security Operations Centre”. But without civilian support from organisations such as AusCERTt, the ADF will be vulnerable to cyber attack.
- Mogulus Live Broadcast: I’ve been using Ustream.TV to do Stilgherrian Live. This new (?) service still officially in beta offers the full mix of live video streaming, video on demand of previous programs, and 24/7 streaming of pre-sequenced programs. I will definitely be exploring this properly soon!