Weekly Wrap 104: Worms, smartphones and television

My week from Monday 28 May to Sunday 3 June 2012 was complex, busy and stressful, yet there were also some memorable highlights.

I won’t be telling you anything about the latter.

I will say that spending the night in six different locations in one week is probably stress-inducing.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 140, “Cybercrime: it’s just too easy”, the second of two episodes based on material recorded at the AusCERT 2012 information security conference. AusCERT general manager Graham Ingram explains why cybercrime is here to stay, and F-Secure chief research officer Mikko Hypponen details a complex transnational criminal operation that saw goods bought fraudulently in Denmark being resold in Moscow, as well giving his views on hacktivism and the level to which antivirus companies should cooperate with governments.

Articles

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Thursday I attended the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone at the Sydney’s Capitol Theatre, where I was given food and drink — and later a review unit of said smartphone.
  • Even though I didn’t go paintballing with Eugene Kaspersky last week, I still got the media pack from Kaspersky Lab. The army-style khaki satchel contained: a t-shirt emblazoned with my callsign “Seagull 17”; a packet of Austcam “Paint, face, camouflage NSN 6850-66-130-0172”; blank dog tags attacked to a Kaspersky-branded USB memory key, containing the media kit of course; a Mars Bar 2-pack; and a can of V, that terribly dangerous drink that should be banned, which I gave away.

The Week Ahead

Monday, as always, is a busy day of media production as well as the discussion I’m leading in Katoomba, Surviving and thriving as a freelancer in a globalised market. And it’s a Full Moon, so that’ll help.

The rest of the week will be easier, in theory — at least as far as work goes — and I even hope to spend Friday with a friend and then head to Sydney as an early start to the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

I’d originally intended to be in Sydney on Tuesday evening. Intel has a launch event for their 3rd Generation Core processor chips. But to be honest I find it difficult to excited by new widgets — they’re faster and better that the previous widgets, right? — so I think I’ll give it a miss. Plus at the start of a new month no-one has yet paid for last month’s work, so it’s hard to justify the expense — especially since I’ll be paying for accommodation away from Bunjaree Cottages for the long weekend.

Elsewhere

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 (or they used to before my phone camera got a bit too scratched up) and via Instagram. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags. Yes, I should probably update this stock paragraph to match the current reality.

[Photo: Sydney’s Saturday night fashion. These young women were spotted alighting at Wynyard station, Sydney, around 11.30pm Saturday night. While I’m obviously no fashion guru, I think it’s fair to say that this look does not flatter them. What made it worse was that neither of the women were steady with their operation of those heels. As they walked down the platform there was considerable swaying and undulation. And it didn’t seem to be because they were drunk. Can someone explain to me when undergarments became acceptable Saturday night partywear? I want to say something about yellow and black being the colours of warning, but I’d better not.]

Talking Stuxnet and Flame worms on ABC Local Radio

The Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran’s uranium enrichment program was indeed launched by the US, according to a major investigative report published by the New York Times shortly before I was due to appear on ABC Local Radio this evening.

So guess what we talked about.

Yes, the Stuxnet worm, as well as the newly-discovered Flame worm that’s been in the news this week — including my Day 1 piece for Crikey and Day 2 for CSO Online.

The host was Dom Knight, and here’s a recording of the whole conversation.

Play

The audio is of course ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. As usual, I post the material I’m involved with here as an archive and reference.

Weekly Wrap 103: Cold, cockatoos and codeine

My week from Monday 21 to Sunday 27 May 2012 saw me return to my usual writing levels — despite continuing pain from my shoulder and a lingering cold which, as I write this, threatens to turn into bronchitis. It’s been rather cold and windy here at Wentworth Falls.

Sadly that meant I didn’t make it to the planned paintball session with Eugene Kaspersky on Wednesday night. It seems that I’m fated not to spend any quality time with Mr K on this Australian trip. I daresay I’ll catch up with him another time. Is that a hint? Der. Of course.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 139, “War talk dominates AusCERT 2012”, the first of two episodes based on material recorded at the information security conference. The overall theme is that infosec is becoming militarised. We no longer talk about “information assurance” but “defensive cyber operations”. Click through for the full list of speakers.

Articles

There’s one more long story emerging from ideas presented at AusCERT 2012 that was filed late Friday. It will appear tomorrow morning at ZDNet Australia.

Media Appearances

None. Which makes up for last week’s heavy media load.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Thursday I went to a media briefing by Optus Business at Australian Technology Park. They provided lunch, and afterwards a couple of coffees. They also gave me an autographed copy of Peter Hinssen’s book The New Normal: Explore the limits of the digital world. No, me neither.

The Week Ahead

It looks like the coming week will be significantly less intense for me, with a more gentle workload and, with luck, better health.

The only fixed-schedule items will take place during an overnight trip to Sydney on Wednesday. That evening there’s a Sydney Talks seminar entitled It Won’t Happen to Me: Cybercrime Myths and Concepts at the University of New South Wales. (Does anyone want to join me?) Then on Thursday morning Samsung is launching… well, they won’t tell me what, but I suspect it’s their new Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone.

I may well be in Sydney on the weekend too, because Bunjaree Cottages is full up both for that weekend and the following Queen’s Birthday long weekend. Stand by.

Elsewhere

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 (or they used to before my phone camera got a bit too scratched up) and via Instagram. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags. Yes, I should probably update this stock paragraph to match the current reality.

[Photo: A young Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus) swoops low overhead at Bunjaree Cottages near Wentworth Falls.]

Weekly Wrap 94: Identity, privacy, fog and a lyrebird

My usual weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. This post covers the week from Monday 19 to Sunday 25 March 2012.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 130, “Yellow alert! Windows RDP flaw explained”. Casey Ellis from Tall Poppy Group and HackLabs proprietor Chris Gatford explain all the things.
  • The 9pm Edict episode 20, which covers Tony Abbott’s tribute to Margaret Whitlam, comedian Bill Bailey’s thoughts on classical music, Harmony Day and more.

Articles

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Thursday I attended the iappANZ workshop on Identity and Privacy as the guest of the Lockstep Group.
  • Also on Thursday, I met with Oliver Friedrichs from Sourcefire, and they bought me a beer.

The Week Ahead

Nothing of specific note has been locked in yet.

Elsewhere

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 (or they used to before my phone camera got a bit too scratched up). The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: Bunjaree Track with Fog, photographed at Bunjaree Cottages on the morning I finally saw the lyrebird.]

Weekly Wrap 93: Sex, security and heartburn

My usual weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. This post covers the week from Monday 12 to Sunday 18 March 2012 — posted late thanks to the worst heartburn I’ve ever experienced destroying an entire night’s sleep.

I’ve added a new section, “The Week Ahead”, listing any events that I’ll be attending. While I often post about future events individually, and my schedule does change at short notice, this will at least help plug a few events that until now I’ve only mentioned on Twitter.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 129, “Future security: big data or Big Brother?” A lunchtime conversation with RSA executive chairman Art Coviello, including a discussion of the boundaries between reasonable data analysis and unreasonable surveillance, and a serve for the media failing to report the good news following RSA’s security breach last year, when the loss of information on their SecurID log-in tokens was later used in an attack on defence contractor Lockheed Martin.

Articles

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday there was free food and drink to be had at the launch of Sexpo.

The Week Ahead

Elsewhere

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 (or they used to before my phone camera got a bit too scratched up). The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: Gang-Gang Cockatoo, one of the more unusual avian visitors to Bunjaree Cottages. Do note that I resisted the temptation to combine “sex” and “gang-gang” in the headline.]