Weekly Wrap 385: Fog, a hack, and a mystery happy fun time

Mountain Life, with FogThe week of Monday 9 to Sunday 15 October 2017 was quite productive, as you’ll see. Read on!

Articles

The first of these articles is the final one related to the launch by foreign minister Julie Bishop of Australia’s first International Cyber Engagement Strategy. See last week’s wrap for the first two.

On Tuesday, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) released its 2017 Threat Report. The next day, at the national conference of the Australian Information Security Association (AISA), an Australian Defence Signals (ASD) officer told us more about an incident in that ACSC report.

Podcasts

None by me, but…

Media Appearances

Sydney Morning Herald front page, 12 Oct 2017Then the world decided to follow up my story on that Australian defence industry data breach.

It began in Australia and expanded from there, with stories in the Sydney Morning Herald (in the front page!); The Australian; ABC News; the Guardian; News.com.au; BuzzFeed; The Express in the UK; Voice of America; RT; Arab Times in Kuwait; via AAP to outlets including Sky News Australia; and via Reuters to others. If I tried to find them all, and link to them all, I’d be here all night.

I saw versions of the story in Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek, Indonesian. There were doubtless others. They’re just the ones I happened to see.

To quote ZDNet security editor Zack Whittaker in New York, it ran everywhere — and to be honest, that surprised me. I’ve covered cybersecurity, as we call it now, for a few years. This is a pretty ordinary event. It just happened to combine “mystery hacker”, with the controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, with the authority of an ASD officer.

On Thursday, I did media appearances on ABC News24; ABC Radio’s The World Today; ABC TV’s 7.30; and Channel Ten’s The Project. On Friday, I appeared on BBC World’s Newsday.

I can’t possible list all of the follow-ups, but here’s a few that I’d like to mention:

The story also morphed as it was re-reported, sometimes drastically changing the meaning of the event. One publication, which I won’t name, even reported that the ASD had been hacked, at least until I contacted them. I hope to find the time to write up that evolution, but for now here’s a few tweets.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Wednesday, there was food and drink at the AISA National Conference, which was held at the Hyatt Regency Sydney. Hivint offered a beer. I accepted. It was nice. Telstra gave me a t-shirt.

The Week Ahead, and Further Ahead

I’ll play it by ear. At this stage, there’s nothing special through to the end of the year, so now is your chance to fix that.

[Photo: Mountain Life, with Fog, The entry road to the Carrington Hotel, Katoomba, photographed through the evening fog on 10 October 2017.]

Weekly Wrap 365: A certain quality of light in May

The Library a la Jeffrey SmartMy week of Monday 22 to Sunday 28 May 2017 wasn’t special in any way whatsoever. Why should it be? All this carry-on about magical lives is a bunch of middle-class smugness that should be erased from the earth.

Did I tell you I broke my glasses on Wednesday? That event shaped the latter part of the week, because I’m struggling a bit to organise replacements. That’s under way now, thanks to the generosity of friends, and I’ll tell you more over the next few days.

For now, on with the show…

Articles, Podcasts, Corporate Largesse

None, but I did write a piece for ZDNet that’ll appear in the next few days, and podcast plans are detailed below.

Media Appearances

  • On Monday 22 May, one of my photos was used to illustrate a piece on The Conversation, The weather is now political. I’m continually amazed by the way people find a use for what are really just random snapshots, and poor ones.

The Week Ahead

Like last week, this week I plan to do a solid amount of work on the SEKRIT editorial project; write a thing or two for ZDNet, plus, I guess, a bunch of other things, like organise new glasses. I won’t assign specific tasks to specific days, because as I explained last week, that tends to jinx things.

The next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast will be recorded and streamed live on Tuesday 30 May Thursday 1 June from stilgherrian.com/edict/live/, starting at 2100 AEST. You still have time to support this podcast with a one-off contribution.

(For those of you who’ve been asking about ongoing contributions, yes, I still intend to set up a better system for that. That won’t be finalised for a while, though, so one-off contributions are very welcome.)

Further Ahead

I’m covering 5th International Conference on Cybercrime and Computer Forensics (ICCCF) on the Gold Coast from 16 to 18 July, I hope; and the national conference of the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) in Sydney on 10 to 12 October.

If there’s anything I should add in there, please let me know.

I also plan to produce a short series of podcasts which will be conversations with people I don’t necessarily agree with. These might be public figures — I hope to speak with One Nation’s Senator Malcolm Roberts, for example — or people who simply represent a different point of view. In June, I’ll record a pilot episode, kicking off with an easy question: Is there a God?

[Photo: The Library a la Jeffrey Smart. The view from the cafe in the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre in Katoomba, photographed on 5 May 2017. The cropping and adjustments to the colour needed to bring out detail in the seated figure drew out the light in the matter of a Jeffrey Smart painting.]

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.]

Weekly Wrap 263: Cold, but productive and entertaining

The View from Level 16My week of Monday 15 to Sunday 21 June 2015 was yet another reasonably productive one, though the cold weather meant that I spent more time than ever before in the warmth of the Blue Mountains City Library in Katoomba.

This week also saw a significant reduction in my stress levels, for a variety of reasons. I’ll write more about that later in the week.

Articles

Podcasts

  • The 9pm Planet of Fascist Delusions, being The 9pm Edict episode 45. I think that podcast production expands to fill the time available for it. This episode soaked up 17 hours, spread over two days.

5at5

There were five editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. That’s more than 25 things for you to read! To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

My week will begin with the Winter Solstice — sorry, I’m running late — the week began with the Winter Solstice, which happened at 0238 AEST on Monday morning. I celebrated the Solstice as I often do, by reflecting on many things overnight, so Monday is a bit slow. Household chores, administrivia, some research, and the like. In the evening I’ll plan my writing for ZDNet.

Tuesday to Thursday will be writing days, with a couple of stories for ZDNet, as well as that goddam ebook. Friday will be devoted to certain activities related to the end of the financial year. The weekend will see the production of another episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, interspersed with a modest social life. That episode will be completed and posted on Monday 29 June.

That seems a bit thin. But my ponderings over the Solstice will trigger further actions, trust me. There is much that I want to change in the coming months.

[Photo: The View from Level 16, being the UBS offices on level 16 of Chifley Tower, 2 Chifley Square, Sydney, photographed on 19 June 2015.]

Weekly Wrap 262: From a birthday to a wake

Surveillance: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 8 to Sunday 14 June 2015 has been another productive one, despite Monday allegedly being a holiday. Thank you, Your Majesty. I’m exhausted.

I also think I’m coming down with a cold, which is hardly surprising. We’ll see.

There’s much I want to talk about, but this very moment I’m at the regularly monthly Poetry in the Pub in Katoomba. I have Sunday Lunch here many weeks. But this month it’s essentially a wake, because one of their number has passed. I’ll admit that I shed a tear as one chap read Henry Lawson’s “The Glass on the Bar”. My whinges can wait for another time.

Articles

There’s also two more ZDNet pieces in the pipeline. They’ll appear in the first half of the coming week, I imagine.

Podcasts

None. The next episode of The 9pm Edict is now scheduled for Wednesday 17 Saturday 20 June.

5at5

There were five editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. That’s more than 25 things for you to read! To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

On Monday and Tuesday, I’ll be finishing off those two ZDNet stories. In theory, I’m also heading in to Sydney on Tuesday for the Optus Business Lunch, to hear the company’s chief executive officer Allen Lew deliver a keynote speech on “how customer behaviours are driving digital transformation” — but with deadlines, that may have to be cancelled. That Sydney trip will definitely be cancelled.

On Wednesday, I’ll be completing an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast. On Thursday, I’ll be writing a column for ZDNet. Wednesday and Thursday are writing days, completing those two ZDNet items, plus a piece for Crikey, plus starting on an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast.

On Friday, I’m definitely doing the long commute to Sydney, to go to a lunchtime briefing by the Wynyard Group on corporate and cyber criminals.

On Saturday I’ll be completing the podcast, and perhaps helping with some, um, engineering work at Bunjaree Cottages. While the rest of the weekend has not yet been planned, the Solstice is on Sunday night — well, for me it’s at 0238 AEST on Monday morning — so I’ll be marking the occasion in some way. How? I’m not sure yet. The same applies to the rest of the weekend, I suppose.

Update 15 June 2015: Edited to reflect the schedule change. Second update, 1620 AEST: Edited to add link to ABC Riverina recording. Update 17 June 2015: Edited to reflect further schedule changes.

[Photo: Surveillance, photographed at Wentworth Falls railway station on 13 June 2015.]