Talking cyber threats on ABC NewsRadio

The Australian Federal Police were talking up the risk of “cyber threats” in the Fairfax news yesterday morning, so I ended up talking about it on ABC NewsRadio.

Now the AFP was bouncing off a report from McAfee, which from the title I assume is yet another of those “The internet is dangerous, m’kay?” fear pieces. 2012 Threats Predictions. I won’t bother linking, because all these reports from the major infosec vendors are much the same, jumbling together everything from minor vandalism to “cyberterrorism” — whatever the fuck that is — with little critical analysis.

But I suppose it is actually getting this stuff onto the agenda.


For six minutes.

At this point I reckon I should re-link to two of my pieces from the eCrime Symposium held in Canberra in November 2011. eCrime Symposium: Harden up, warns Aussie crime fighter and eCrime Symposium wrap: Satisfaction tinged with frustration.

The presenter was Cathy Bell (who seems to be missing from the station’s page of presenters), the producer Jared Reed.

The audio is ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. While the audio was posted shortly after broadcast at the ABC NewsRadio website, I’m going to post it here anyway. It’s easier for me than trawling their automated daily audio archive.

This is being posted a full day after the actual radio appearance, even though the post was ready within an hour of the broadcast. Why? Because I didn’t want it on the website before I’d posted last week’s Weekly Wrap. Is that good editorial judgement? Or just a little bit too anally-retentive?

Weekly Wrap 75: eCrime, Canberra and a dead computer

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. This week included a visit to Canberra and the final death of my battered MacBook Pro.

The computer was three and a half years old, and has seen quite a few accidents. The biggie was doing a somersault down an asphalt road, bouncing off every corner and denting and warping the case. Another fall was only a cafe table leg, which dented the spine. After all that and plenty of other dents and scratches, the “9” and “delete” keys had failed and it tended to crash randomly if I picked it up carelessly.

This morning the motherboard finally gave out. I’m amazed it lasted this long. It has been replaced with a crisp new MacBook Pro.


  • Patch Monday episode 113, “Bell Labs’ high-bandwidth future”. An interview with Bell Labs’ chief scientist Alice White covering social computing, optics, quantum computing, and the potential of Australia’s National Broadband Network..


Every article I wrote this week related to the third annual eCrime Symposium in Canberra.

Media Appearances


Corporate Largesse

  • The organisers of the eCrime Symposium provided refreshments during the event, and a meal at Sammy’s Kitchen and drinks at the Tongue & Groove on the first night.
  • On the night after the conference, I was bought far too many drinks by various people with kangaroos, emus and the word “security” or “crime” on their business cards.


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: The Canberra Rex Hotel, where I stayed for three nights this week, is being renovated — and it’s long overdue. This is the toilet-flush button from my room, and there’s further evidence.]

Visiting Canberra for eCrime Symposium

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.]