Weekly Wrap 306: Via Bundanoon to a cyber-filled Canberra

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.]

Talking Apple vs FBI and more on ABC 774 Melbourne

ABC logoI seem to have settled into semi-regular radio spots on ABC 774 Melbourne, talking about technology news roughly once a month. I did one of these on Thursday.

The main item was the legal battle between Apple and the FBI over an iPhone that belonged to one of the shooters in the San Bernardino shootings of December 2015. While there’s plenty of coverage of this case, I will mention that the FBI’s hack may never reach Apple, and the only winners are the shareholders of cybersecurity companies, because more people will see security as important.

The other item was the announcement on Thursday of the IOT Group’s new product, the ROAM-e drone for taking flying selfies. Yes, that’s what I said.

Heres the full 22-minute conversation with presenter Casey Bennetto, who was filling in for Lindy Burns.

Play

This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Weekly Wrap 299: Ale and altitude, kind of

Beer Bubbles: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 22 to Sunday 28 February 2016 was another relative unproductive one, for reasons explained last time, but it was an improvement. Improvement is good.

A personal update will be posted in the next few days. For now, on with the show…

Podcasts

None, but I do want to wrap up that episode of The 9pm Edict podcast very soon. See below.

Articles

None, but I have a ZDNet column being published on Monday.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

This will be the first is a series of quite structured weeks for me, which will be a challenge. I daresay I may have to change a few things as I go along. But with that said, here’s the plan…

On Monday, I’ll catch the 0734 train to Sydney, completing my ZDNet column en route. At 1100, I’ll catch VA834 SYD-MEL. Once I’ve checked in to my hotel, I’ll bring my various geek-for-hire projects up to date.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I’ll be covering the APIdays conference for ZDNet, and catching up with friends in the evenings. On Thursday, I’ll be writing for ZDNet, and having a couple of work-related meetings, before catching VA859 MEL-SYD at 1600. I’ll probably return to Wentworth Falls that night.

Friday through Saturday? Well, that depends on my energy levels. But I hope to get that podcast done somewhere in there.

Further Ahead

The following week, I’ll be in Canberra from Monday 7 March for the Australian Internet Industry Association (AIIA) Navigating Privacy and Security Summit on Tuesday. I’ll probably stay in Canberra on Wednesday. Then on Sunday, I’ll be back in the Blue Mountains for Tech Leaders.

I’ll be in Canberra again 12-14 April for the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Conference. And I’ll be on the Gold Coast on 24-27 May for the AusCERT Cyber Security Conference.

[Photo: Beer Bubbles, specifically the Katoomba Brewing Company Great Western Golden Ale, photographed on 22 February 2016.]

Talking the hacking of airliners on 2UE

2UE logoIs it possible to hack into a commercial airliner’s flight control systems by first hacking into its inflight entertainment system?

That’s the worry, certainly. But now the FBI has said that security researcher Chris Roberts told them he’d done exactly that hack 15 or 20 times, and on one occasion even managed to compromise the Thrust Management Computer, getting it to issue a “climb” command to one engine — with the result that the burst of increased thrust caused “lateral movement” of the aircraft.

Except Wired reports that Roberts told them that he claimed no such thing. He’d had many hours of conversations with the FBI, and in condensing that down to a few sentences they’ve got the wrong end of the stick.

This whole story caught the attention of 2UE morning presenter Stuart Hocking, we spoke about it for about seven minutes earlier today, and here’s the recording.

Play

This audio is ©2015 Radio 2UE Sydney Pty Ltd.

Talking Tor and Silk Road on ABC Local Radio

ABC logoThis evening I had a lovely conversation on ABC Local Radio in Sydney and around NSW on the takedown of the Silk Road internet marketplace and the Tor anonymity software that made such anonymity possible.

The presenter was the redoubtable Dom Knight. Given that we last spoke in April, we had a lot to catch up on. Here’s the full audio.

Play

The audio is of course ©2013 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, archived here because it isn’t being archived anywhere else.