cybersafety

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ABC Sydney TARDIS 1ABC logoThe massive global phenomenon that is the Pokémon Go augmented reality game naturally caught the interest of media producers all over — including at ABC 774 Melbourne.

Here’s my chat with Wendy Touhy from the evening of 20 July. I’m hoping I didn’t screw up some detail of the game, although I’m pretty sure I did.

We also spoke about one of my pet topics, the risks of electronic voting.

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This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

[Photo: Ready to go live on ABC 774 Melbourne from ABC Sydney TARDIS 1, 20 July 2016.]

ABC logoThe news that a Wi-Fi enabled Hello Barbie doll had been released got plenty of media interest at the end of the working week, especially since the security and privacy risks weren’t just theoretical.

Hello Barbie was soon hacked.

I was interviewed by journalist Penny Timms about these security risks by ABC Radio’s national current affairs program PM.

The makers of one of the world’s most famous dolls are due to roll out their latest edition. Forget Malibu Barbie, because wifi Barbie could be on shelves by Christmas. The technology means the doll can hold conversations with her owner. But security experts warn there are serious flaws, with suggestions the technology has already been hacked.

Somehow I managed to include some paranoid ideas for using Hello Barbie for psychological warfare.

ABC News also posted a written story, which uses some different quotes. But here’s the radio story.

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The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It’s being served from the ABC website, where you can also read a transcript.

Lumpy Weather: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 12 to Sunday 18 October 2015 was a marked return to productivity — despite a severe lack of sleep along the way.

Apart from generating three quite adequate articles, and recording plenty of audio for future projects, I also made some excellent contacts at the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) National Conference and elsewhere, and certain geekery went pretty much to plan.

I was especially pleased that the Pozible campaign Send Stilgherrian To Ruxcon 2015 was fully funded. I’ll have more to say about that on Monday.

Articles

I also recorded an interview with Joe Franzi, Assistant Secretary Cyber Security with the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), Australia’s equivalent to the US National Security Agency (NSA). It’s the first recorded interview he’s ever done in that role, and it’ll turn into an article for ZDNet on Monday. The full audio will appear in due course. Stand by.

Podcasts

None, but a new episode of The 9pm Edict will appear on Tuesday.

I’ve also been commissioned to produce an episode of ABC Radio National’s Future Tense, which will appear in late November.

Media Appearances

  • On Friday, I was interviewed for a story looking at the future of technology for ABC Online, which will appear some time in the coming week.

5at5

There’s still nothing from 5at5, and that continues to be terrible. Why not subscribe so you’ll get all the future ones when they eventually appear?

Corporate Largesse

  • The AISA conference obviously included plenty of free food and drink.
  • My travel and accommodation for that Melbourne trip was covered by Tanium.
  • Michael McKinnon, social media and security awareness director with AVG Technologies AU Pty Ltd, was generous with the hospitality too.

The Week Ahead

It’s another busy week ahead. On Monday, I’m dealing with administrative loose ends, and at 1600 AEDT being a guest for the recording of Mark Pesce’s podcast TWISTA – This Week in Startups Australia, before finally returning to the Blue Mountains some time on Tuesday.

On Tuesday Wednesday, I’m doing the shopping in Katoomba, and wrapping up starting on another episode of The 9pm Edict. But mostly, it’ll be spent writing for ZDNet.

Wednesday is a day off.

On Thursday, I’m writing for ZDNet, before heading into Sydney for the evening. Once there, I’ll complete the podcast, I’ll waste much of the day tying up idioti lcoose ends.

Friday starts extremely early, waking at 0230 to pack and catch the 0358 train to Sydney in time for my 0715 AEDT flight to Melbourne. The rest of the day will be spent catching up with various people, and doing some location scouting in a stupor of tiredness, before some sort of drinks and dinner thing with a few people.

Saturday and Sunday will be spent covering Ruxcon, another of Australia’s key information security conferences. This will include recording material for Corrupted Nerds as well as Future Tense.

Further Ahead

On Monday and Tuesday 26-27 October, I’ll still be in Melbourne doing various things. That includes a Monday night radio spot on ABC 774 Melbourne at 1930 AEDT.

Update 19 October 2015: Edited to reflect a change of plans. Update 20 October 2015: Edited to reflect further change to the plan. Update 25 October 2015: Edited once more to reflect continuing change.

[Photo: Lumpy Weather, photographed from seat 29A of VA830 on 13 October 2015.]

ABC logoLast week’s conversation about the future of jobs apparently went so well that it’s become a regular weekly spot over summer. “Tech Wreck” is now on ABC 720 Perth each Tuesday at 1430 AWST / 1730 AEDT.

This week we spoke about:

The presenter is Jamie Burnett. If there’s any topics you’d like us to talk about in coming weeks, please let us know. Or phone in during the program on +61 8 9220 2700.

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The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Sydney Opera House: click to embiggenMy week Monday 2 to Sunday 8 September 2013 was, as predicted, another busy one — with some transformational changes along the way.

The early spring weather has continued. On Wednesday one of the cab drivers in the Upper Blue Mountains and I noted how dry everything seemed. It doesn’t bode well for summer. But the bright, sunny days have certainly helped my mood, so there’s that.

Spring is supposedly a time of new beginnings, and I do feel as if I’m starting so many things after that rather annoying winter gloom.

There’s biggish things, like Corrupted Nerds, and more of that shortly. There’s little things, like the calendar. In between, there’s stuff like my Tokyo trip triggering a little media project, something I’ve been intending to do for ages. And the rather big change of a new government has triggered the resumption of daily blogging, again something I’ve been intending to do for ages.

Articles

Plus I wrote an article for Technology Spectator, to be published later this month.

Podcasts

None, though I did more background work on Corrupted Nerds, and things will appear in the coming few days.

Yes, I know I wrote exactly the same thing last week, but it’s true. This week I recorded three interviews that will be the basis of three episodes, and I’ve all but finished the documentation for the crowdfunding process that I intend to kick off this week.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

It’s a relatively busy one, with stories to write for Technology Spectator, ZDNet Australia and CSO Online. Plus I’ll be launching the crowdfunding campaigns for Corrupted Nerds and the Tokyo project, and I want to finish a podcast episode. But that can be done in whatever order I like over the next four days.

On Friday I’ll be coming to Sydney for a 1000 meeting in North Sydney, plus whatever else I add into the day.

The weekend is currently unplanned, but of my flight to Tokyo on Monday 16 September is an early one, then I’ll probably head down to Sydney on Sunday afternoon.

[Photo: Sydney Opera House, photographed from the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay, on 5 September 2013.]

My usual weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. This post covers the week from Monday 5 to Sunday 11 March 2012.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 128, “Cybercrime and the Russian mob”. Stephen McCombie, lecturer at the Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism at Macquarie University, explains why Eastern Europe is the perfect breeding-ground for online crime. And Chris Gatford, proprietor of Hacklabs, says that organisations’ networks are showing the same vulnerabilities as a decade ago. We’re not learning. And the payment card industry data security standard (PCI DSS) has failed us too.

Articles

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Monday, RSA paid for lunch at The Summit Restaurant. From the rather lovely menu I selected the campechana of ocean trout, school prawns, Pacific oyster and crab in a wet tomato lime ceviche, followed by the dry aged Angus beef cheek and loin noisettes with Jerusalem artichoke, grapes and majoram — along with some of the double cream and butter mashed potato, and the crisp garden leaves and cress salad with chardonnay dressing. I forgot to write down what the wines were, sorry, but I can show you the view in directions one, two and three.
  • Also on Monday, I had coffee with Brad Arkin from Adobe, and they paid. I didn’t see the need to take a photograph.

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: Rosella in da House. Technically this is being posted in the wrong week because it’s from 4 March, but it accurately summarises the mood of this week I think. Some of the local avian wildlife at Bunjaree Cottages has started to get a little more friendly.]

I’m off to Canberra for a few days next week to cover the 3rd Annual eCrime Symposium, which this year is a two-day event at the University of Canberra.

This event has been steadily growing since it was kicked off by former Australian Federal Police chaps Alastair MacGibbon and Nigel Phair two years ago. On that occasion I filed a story for Crikey, eCrime: the bad guys pwn the internet.

Last year I don’t seem to have filed a written story — I was writing abut the National Broadband Network instead — but I did chat with the FBI’s Will Blevins for a podcast, Cybercrime: the FBI’s worldview.

Those first two events were run under the rubric of the Surete Group, but now Messrs MacGibbon and Phair have formed the Centre for Internet Safety, part of the law school at the University of Canberra, and it’s all rather more special.

This year I’ll be filing for CSO Online. I’m arriving in Canberra on Monday evening 7 November, and will stay in town until just before lunchtime on Thursday 10 November.

[Update 12 November 2011: The articles I wrote about this conference are listed at Weekly Wrap 75: eCrime, Canberra and a dead computer.]

My first op-ed for CSO, “The Resource for Data Security Executives”, has just been posted. It’s voluntary ISP-level internet filtering, but a different angle from my Crikey piece earlier today.

After nearly four chaotic years, Australia’s internet filtering scheme is finally coming together in a way that makes sense technically and politically, if not necessarily for effective child protection.

The chaos wasn’t all communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy’s fault. The “clean feed” was announced as Labor policy back in March 2006 by then-leader Kim Beazley. ISPs would filter out the nasties hosted overseas, where they couldn’t be hit with a takedown notice from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

But Conroy’s name was on Labor’s Plan for Cyber-safety published just five days out from the federal election in late 2007, and once in government it was Conroy’s job to explain that plan and sell it to voters. Everyone presumably imagined it’d be a protect-the-kiddies no-brainer.

Problem was, neither the plan not Conroy’s explanations were clear…

As I say, it’s my first outing for CSO, but if all goes according to plan there’ll be more. And in case you’re wondering, CSO is a job title. Chief Security Officer.

Australia’s mandatory internet filter is at least two years away, but Telstra and Optus are only weeks from implementing their “voluntary” equivalents. Where are we up to with this controversial issue?

That’s what I covered in yesterday’s Patch Monday podcast for ZDNet Australia. And as I explained on the weekend, I’m returning to my habit of doing a blog post here for each episode.

For this internet filtering update, I spoke with Peter Black, who teaches internet and media law at the Queensland University of Technology; network engineer Mark Newton; and Lyle Shelton, chief of staff for the Australian Christian Lobby.

You can listen below. But it’s probably better for my stats if you listen at ZDNet Australia or subscribe to the RSS feed or subscribe in iTunes.

Since this podcast was recorded, we’ve discovered that Primus isn’t so sure about voluntary filtering any more. They were the third ISP to commit to the plan last year. However the Internet Industry Association (IIA) has said most Australian ISPs will filter via the Interpol list this year.

Previous podcast on this issue covered the meaning of the Refused Classification content category, Senator Conroy’s announcement of the strategy in July 2010, and the apparent fact that parents don’t act on their cybersafety fears.

Please let me know what you think. Comments below. We accept audio comments too. Either Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. We’re late this week, posted on Monday rather than Sunday, because I forgot. That and, well, it’s a holiday anyway so the new week doesn’t start until Tuesday.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 91, “Tackling cybersecurity: it’s a start”, being a continuation of my thoughts emerging from National Cyber Security Awareness Week last week.

Articles

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday I attended the Mumbrella360 conference on media and marketing, which involved the usual level of food and drink for such things — first at the Hilton Hotel and then at the Arthouse Hotel.
  • On Thursday I went to the welcome reception for X|Media|Lab’s current Sydney event, which again involved food and drink, this time at Customs House. I didn’t actually go to the conference itself, for various reasons.
  • On Monday and Thursday I was taken to lunch by two different people who are interested in having me work on forthcoming projects. I can’t talk about either of them yet — they may not even happen — but this was really just the usual introductions over lunch thing.

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. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: A random photograph of Broadway, Sydney, taken on Saturday.]

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