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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.

ABC logoAnonymous was back in the news last week following their declaration of war against Islamic State, and the declaration of last Friday as a day of trolling against IS.

On Tuesday night, I spoke about the “organisation” and its history with ABC 774 Melbourne evening presenter Lindy Burns.

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The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Railway Parade near Wentworth Falls: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 30 November to Sunday 6 December 2015 went reasonably well. Although I didn’t do things exactly as predicted last week, there was enough progress to make me happy.

In the interests of getting this posted on schedule, I’ll go straight to the list…

Podcasts

Articles

Media Appearances

  • On Tuesday, I spoke about the VTech hack on ABC 612 Brisbane.
  • On Wednesday, I spoke about the VTech hack on Kinderling Radio.
  • On Wednesday evening, I took part in a panel discussion at the launch of the Sydney chapter of Electronic Frontiers Australia. The only recording is a very rough one for my own reference, so sorry, you won’t be hearing it.

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Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday, I went to VMware’s end-of-year drinks at O Bar and Dining, Australia Square. Apart from canapés and champagne, I pocketed a pen. They so pwn me now.

The Week Ahead

On Monday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be making some sort of announcement regarding innovation, so I suspect I’ll be writing something for ZDNet. If not, well, there’s a thousand tasks of administrivia I need to deal with.

On Tuesday, I’m heading to Sydney for a medical appointment, an interview, and NetSuite’s end-of-year drinks. I’m then heading to the ABC’s Sydney studios to do a spot on ABC 774 Melbourne at 1900 AEDT.

On Wednesday, I’ll be dealing with a number of geek-for-hire tasks, and planning certain things for the next couple of weeks.

On Wednesdayetime=”2015-12-09T03:11:37+00:00″>Thursday, I’ll finally be producing that episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, tentatively titled “The 9pm Garden of Hate”, in which I’ll finish off all of the sponsored content that I owe my supporters. I plan to stream that recording session live at 2100 AEDT.

On Thursday, I’m heading to Sydney again for a medical appointment, amongst other things, and probably writing for ZDNet en route.

Friday will see me doing whatever remains to be done, which will include writing for ZDNet.

Further Ahead

I’ll record a “2015 Wrap” episode of the Corrupted Nerds podcast some time in the week beginning Monday 14 December.

The next episode of The 9pm Public House Forum, similar to the first one, will be recorded on the afternoon of Saturday 19 December. The venue will be confirmed in a few days, but it’s now looking like it’ll be somewhere in Sydney’s inner west.

I’ll also produce “2015 Wrap” episode of the Edict some time between Christmas and New Year.

[Update 9 December 2015: Edited to reflect schedule changes.]

[Photo: Railway Parade near Wentworth Falls. On the last day of spring, the yellow flowers of the Coreopsis lanceolata are everywhere. They’re a weed, but pretty nonetheless.]

Kinderling logoWhile I’d heard of Kinderling, I hadn’t really known what it was about — until this Wednesday, when I did a spot on this new digital radio station in Sydney.

Kinderling grew from the Australian independent music and arts community with a vision to create contemporary children’s radio that is grounded in Australian culture, society and natural habitat.

With over a decade of radio experience (and ten kids!) between them, the Kinderling team has developed a program schedule that soundtracks your day with kids.

The trigger for this conversation was of course this week’s news of the VTech hack and data breach. Here’s my 10-minute conversation with Kinderling Conversation presenter Shevonne Hunt.

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You can check to see if you were caught up in this data breach at Troy Hunt’s Have I Been Pwned.

The audio is ©2015 Kinderling. You can also listen at their website.

ABC logoFollowing last week’s news of the security issues relating to Wi-Fi Hello Barbie, the weekend saw the disclosure of a data breach at toymaker VTech which revealed the details of children and their parents.

I’ve just spoken about this with Emma Griffiths on ABC 612 Brisbane.

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If you think you might have been affected, search for your email addresses at Have I Been Pwned.

The audio is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. I daresay I’ll be talking about this some more in the coming days.

Departing Mt Victoria: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 23 to Sunday 29 November 2015 was remarkably productive, a sharp comparison with last week. This pleases me.

Apart from the stuff listed below, I’ve also started a fresh program to tackle my on-again off-again “friendship” with the black dog of depression. I haven’t yet decided whether to write about this highly personal topic or not. Maybe when the timeline takes clearer shape.

I also got quite a bit of planning done for December, including locking in a couple geek-for-money projects that won’t be detailed here.

Podcasts

Articles

Media Appearances

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Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

On Monday, I’ll be writing for ZDNet, as well as heading to Parramatta and Petersham to choose a venue for the next Public House Forum. Various loose ends will be sorted out while on the trains.

On Tuesday, I’ll finish the ZDNet column, make some progress on certain geek-for-money projects, and do some shopping and other errands in Katoomba.

I’ll sleep in on Wednesday, and then head to Sydney to record a SEKRIT podcast episode. Then in the evening I’ll go to VMware’s end-of-year drinks, and then speak at the launch of a Sydney chapter of Electronic Frontiers Australia. It looks like I’ll be getting home quite late.

On Thursday, I’ll write for ZDNet, and then the rest of the week is flexible. I do have some geek projects to weave into the schedule, however.

On Tuesday Friday, I’ll be producing an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, tentatively titled “The 9pm Garden of Hate”, in which I’ll finish off all of the sponsored content that I owe my supporters. I plan to stream that recording session live at 2100 AEDT. This episode will now be made on Monday night 7 December.

Further Ahead

I’ll record a “2015 Wrap” episode of the Corrupted Nerds podcast some time in the week beginning Monday 14 December.

The next episode of The 9pm Public House Forum, similar to the first one, will be recorded on the afternoon of Saturday 19 December, somewhere in or near Parramatta. The venue will be confirmed in a few days.

I’ll also produce “2015 Wrap” episode of the Edict some time between Christmas and New Year.

[Update 1 December 2015: Edited to reflect schedule changes. Update 4 December 2015: Edited again to reflect further schedule changes.]

[Photo: Departing Mt Victoria. The #purpletrain (also known as a V-Set) pulls away from Platform 1 of Mt Victoria railway station on a wet Saturday afternoon, 28 November 2015.]

Recording Future Tense narration in ABC Radio studio E46

ABC logoIt has been my very great pleasure this week to produce an entire episode of ABC Radio National’s Future Tense, titled Bug bounties and pentesting: the Wild West of online security.

Here’s how the ABC has introduced this documentary:

Online information security is estimated to be worth more than $75 billion annually. And that figure is certain to grow as more and more of our everyday devices are given internet connectivity.

So why are our cyber-networks still being hacked on an industrial scale? Despite all that we’ve learnt about online fraud and malicious attacks, why is the digital world still so fragile?

In this edition of Future Tense, technology writer and commentator Stilgherrian talks ‘bug bounties’ and ‘pentesting’ as he introduces us to those at the coal-face of the security challenge.

Here’s the full half-hour documentary, featuring Alastair MacGibbon, Children’s eSafety Commissioner for the Australian Government; Casey Ellis, founder and CEO of Bugcrowd; Associate Professor Asha Rao, information security expert from RMIT University; Fatemah Beydoun, Chief Awesome at Security Code Warrior and a former IT security auditor; Joe Franzi, Assistant Secretary, Cyber Security, Australian Signals Directorate; John McCormack, CEO of Raytheon|Websense; Nathaniel Wakelam, professional penetration tester/hacker; and a snippet from Alan Dupont, Professor of International Security at the University of New South Wales.

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The program is ©2015 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and it’s served here directly from the ABC website, where you can also read a transcript.

Both the ABC and I are pleased with how this went, and I’ve been invited to pitch further story ideas in the new year.

[Photo: Recording my Future Tense narration in ABC Radio studio E46 in Sydney, on Monday 23 November 2015. This environment was overkill. I wasn’t using any of the studio gear, just my own Sennheiser e835 microphone, Zoom H6, and MacBook Pro — so basically the three items in the foreground — but I needed a proper quiet room.]

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.

Play

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

Screenshot of Stilgherrian from Download This Show: click for podcast websiteABC logoWould you believe it’s been more than a year since the last time Marc Fennell invited me onto Download This Show? Well, it is.

Ironically, it seems like this week’s episode was designed specifically to troll me. We discussed TV (which I don’t watch) in the context of the new Apple TV, cars (which I don’t drive) in the context of hacking them, and weddings (which I’m not interested in). Still, Janet Carr and I had fun.

Here’s how the ABC website describes the episode:

Has Apple really reinvented the ole TV box? Also is your digital DAB radio the key to hackers accessing your car? More inside…

There’s a video of the Apple TV segment over the fold. If it doesn’t work for you here, watch it on YouTube.

Read the rest of this entry »

Producing Corrupted Nerds episode 13My week of Monday 26 October to Sunday 1 November 2015 pleased me, mostly because a certain podcast returned.

I was rather exhausted in the middle of the week, however, because Ruxcon does tend to take it out of you. But I was very pleased that Certain Other Plans seem to be coming together just fine.

Articles

Podcasts

Media Appearances

5at5

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Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

On Monday, I’ll be writing for ZDNet, and mapping out my production schedule.

On Tuesday, I’ll sort out my audio recordings for my forthcoming documentary for ABC Radio National’s Future Tense, and organise any interviews that seem to be missing.

On Wednesday, I’ll catch the 0606 train to Sydney and head to ABC Ultimo, with recording sessions schedule at 0845 for Future Tense, and 1000 for Download This Show. I’ll have lunch in the city before heading back up the hill. Any takers?

On Thursday, I’m producing a special live episode of The 9pm Edict.

On Friday, I’ll be recording the last few interviews for Future Tense.

I am determined that the coming weekend will contain no work, mostly because this week’s attempt to have an actual weekend was a dismal failure.

Further Ahead

On Tuesday 10 November, I’ll be in Sydney for the Law via Internet (LvI) Conference 2015 at the University of New South Wales — and if you look carefully at the program, you’ll see that I’m on one of the panels.

I’m also in Sydney on Wednesday 11 for Remembrance Day commemorations, as well as a lunchtime briefing by Kaspersky Lab.

Update 2 November 2015: Edited to reflect some changes to the schedule. Update 3 November 2015: Edited to reflect further changes to the schedule.

[Photo: Producing Corrupted Nerds episode 13, photographed on Sunday 1 November 2015.]

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