Weekly Wrap 387: Roses, rain, wine, and cybers

Antique Roses at The AlexMy week of Monday 23 to Sunday 29 October 2017 was adequate. I’ve been having a relaxed Sunday, though, and I don’t want to spoil that, so let’s get on with the show.

Articles

Podcasts

Media Appearances

  • On Tuesday, I spoke about the targeting of advertising on social media on ABC Canberra.
  • On Wednesday, I spoke about encryption policies and, briefly, Nazis for the next episode of the Covert Contact podcast, which will appear very soon. If you haven’t done so, you can still listen to my first appearance, the episode about Australian Cyber Policy.
  • My story about an Australian defence contractor’s data breach from a couple of weeks ago was picked up by a Ukrainian news site, and a site in Italian that I didn’t investigate further.

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

Monday will definitely be a jumbled day of editorial planning, research, story pitches, and administrivia. I’m glad I’ve already sketched out the rest of the week.

On Tuesday I’m heading to Sydney for a couple meetings, but I’ve got room for more. I’m also doing a radio spot on ABC Melbourne at 1930 AEDT.

Wednesday will be a day of writing, as will most of the rest of the week.

At some point, I’ll also announce a new crowdfunding campaign. It’s been more than a year since my last concentrated ask-for-money burst, and the gods know my budget needs it. But there’s been some changes in the crowdfunding landscape since then, so I don’t want to rush it. Stay tuned for details.

Further Ahead

At this stage, I haven’t locked in anything specific for the rest of the calendar year. Please feel free to make some suggestions.

[Photo: Antique Roses at The Alex. The back bar of the Alexandra Hotel, Leura, was decorated with a bouquet of antique roses taken from the pub’s own garden. Photographed on 26 October 2017.]

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 Wrap 384: International diplomacy, and a skink

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.]