cybercrime

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ERT 2016: part of the stage for  AusCERT 2016

ABC logoAs careful readers will know, I’ve spent most of the week on Australia’s Gold Coast at the AusCERT 2016 Conference. That piqued the interest of ABC Gold Coast.

On Thursday morning I recorded a chat about various security and cybercrime topics of interest, which was edited down to this 16-minute conversation.

The presenter is Nicole Dyer.

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This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

[Photo: Part of the stage for AusCERT 2016, photographed on 25 May 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.

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.]

Sydney Harbour BridgeMy week of Monday 21 Sunday 27 December 2015 started badly. At 0823 I received an SMS message from my bank, asking about a suspect transaction. Within minutes, the card number was cancelled, and a new card organised — but not before hundreds of dollars had been siphoned out in a series of transactions to PlayStation Network GBR.

What impressed me was the speed at which Westpac detected and dealt with this. The total elapsed time, from receiving the SMS, to identifying the dodgy transactions, to organising a replacement card and so on, was just 25 minutes. This is why stolen credit card details are now worth so little on the black market.

What didn’t impress me was the inability of the broader logistics chain to solve the immediate problem of giving me access to my money. The bank cites seven to ten working days to deliver a new card. So not before Christmas.

The bank can arrange cardless cash withdrawals from ATMs, sending single-use authorisation codes via the smartphone app, but for some reason that can’t be done with the specific kind of account I have. Sorry, but I wasn’t about to rush into signing up for a new bank account.

So I withdrew a bunch of cash from a bank branch, and then rearranged an “everything in cash” week. A little less productive, a little more walk-aroundey. Overall, a low-impact cybercrime, but still a pain in the arse.

Articles

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Edict’s Public House Forum #2”, being The 9pm Edict episode 54, was recorded last Saturday and posted on Wednesday night. It’s also on SoundCloud and Spreaker.

Media Appearances

None.

5at5

Should 5at5 eventually reappear, you’ll know about it if you subscribe.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday, I went to Huawei’s end of year drinks for the media at ECQ Bar, Circular Quay. We were all given a Huawei P8lite smartphone and a $30 Telstra pre-paid SIM.

The Week Ahead

For most Australians, the week between Christmas and New Year is a holiday. But not for me. Despite many services only operating Tuesday through Thursday this week, if they’re running at all, I still have quite a lot to get done. Whether it can all happen is another question.

On Monday, I’ll bring all my geekery-for-money projects up to date, and schedule the next few weeks in more detail. Laundry shall also be done.

On Tuesday, I’ll bump out of the Ashfield residence where I’ve been cat-sitting, and run some errands to Enmore, Newtown, and perhaps elsewhere, and then start scripting the next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast.

Whether Tuesday evening sees me settle into Lilyfield, or whether I return to Wentworth Falls that afternoon, will only be decided on Monday. This post will be updated accordingly on Monday evening.

On Wednesday, I’ll write for ZDNet, I think, and finish the pre-production for The 9pm Edict. The podcast will be recorded and streamed live at 2100 AEDT.

On Thursday, I’ll do a bunch of bookkeeping, and prepare my budgets for January, before doing something that can best be described as celebrating New Year’s Eve. Details TBA.

Friday is New Year’s Day, and I’ll do something significant to mark the start of 2016. Friday will also kick off a long weekend that includes, amongst other things, lunch in Katoomba on Saturday.

[Photo: Sydney Harbour Bridge, photographed from Circular Quay on 22 December 2015.]

ABC logoIt was a week for extended radio conversations about the darker side of the internet, it seems.

Not only did I speak about Anonymous on ABC 774 Melbourne, on Friday night I spoke about that ill-defined phenomenon known as the “dark web” on ABC 891 Adelaide with evening presenter Deb Tribe. And here is that conversation.

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This audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The 9pm Edict recording setup

Planet Earth is dissolving into a replay of the Middle Ages. Crusader Rabbit is off his leash, with more mouth foam than a rabid dog full of dishwashing liquid.

In this podcast, there’s talk of cybercrime, civilisation, sodomy, and probing up the jaxie. Nicholas Fryer ponders the strange days of Australian politics. And there’s just a little too much information about teapots.

You can listen to the podcast below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe automatically in iTunes, or go to SoundCloud.

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If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

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ABC logoThis evening I did one of my now (ir)regular spots on ABC 774 Melbourne, and since I’d been at Ruxcon over the weekend, that conference was an obvious topic.

Presenter Lindy Burns and I started off talking about the origins of the word “hacker”, and that led into a brief history of cybercrime, before we got into the so-called “dark web” and Silk Road… and even the risks of smart TVs.

Here’s the entire 23-minute conversation exactly as it aired — and as Ms Burns herself freely admits, it strayed well away from our planned topics.

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The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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