Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declared that cyber security was “the new frontier of warfare” and espionage while announcing new measures to protect Australian democracy from foreign interference :: Read the full article »»»»
Australia’s Federal Parliament has passed it’s controversial data retention laws, with both major political parties voting in the legislation. The new laws will force telcos to keep records of phone and internet use for two years and allow security agencies access the records.
Telcos already retain the data, however at varying durations in an unregulated environment. Australia’s Attorney-General Senator George Brandis says the legislation – which passed through the senate with 43 votes to 16 – will strike the right balance.
The cost of retaining the information is set to be partly covered by the taxpayer in what the Government described as a “significant” contribution. There are concerns telecommunications companies will pass on the rest of the cost to consumers :: Read the full article »»»»
As Google, Apple and Microsoft scramble to patch a long missed security flaw it might be timely to remember how we got here. Way back at the latter end of the last century – the 1990s, when Netscape browser was all the rage and – SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption was brand-spanking-new, the U.S. government wanted control over export of “weapons grade” encryption.
Its theory was that domestic communications could benefit from stronger, 128-bit encryption, but ‘backdoors’ should be available to U.S. intelligence and law enforcement when it came to foreign communications, the concept of weaker, “export grade” encryption was born.
Turns out that this theory and it’s legacy backdoor, a vulnerability that we’ve come to know in recent days as ‘FREAK’ still exists in up to 30 percent of U.S. web servers. It’s a sad example of how zombie-security from the era that gave us grunge can come back and bite us on the posterior.
Meanwhile, Apple and Google are saying they’ve developed fixes/patches – though we note Apple has yet to deploy – to mitigate the ‘Freak’ security flaw. Initially thought to be immune, Microsoft released an advisory which warned hundreds of millions of Windows PC users are also vulnerable to the security vulnerability :: Read the full article »»»»
More than 100 million users of the trusted torrent platform are at serious risk of having their laptops and PCs literally destroyed. T
Bundled with the latest install of the free software is a program called Epic Scale leeching your laptop’s resources in secret.
Epic Scale is a currency miner that generates revenue for its creators, though it publicly sells itself on being a completely philanthropic venture :: Read the full article »»»»
Telstra said an unintended consequence of the plan would be the creation of many highly attractive targets for hackers.
The Federal Government has cited national security as one of the reasons for its plan to force telcos and internet companies to store customer metadata for two years.
A parliamentary committee investigating the bills also heard concerns from Australia’s intelligence agency watchdog that ASIO could keep metadata indefinitely.
Under the metadata retention scheme, Telstra, and all other national telcos and internet companies, would be forced to store customer metadata for two years.
Telstra said the data would be kept in a database, ready to be given to law enforcement on request :: Read the full article »»»»
The makers of the 2013 Oscar-winning hit Dallas Buyers Club have launched a legal bid to force a handful of Australian internet companies to hand over details of customers who have illegally downloaded the film.
The company that owns the rights to the film initiated legal action in the Federal Court and named the internet service provider iiNet and several smaller ISPs as respondents.
The move is the latest in a longstanding campaign by entertainment companies to reduce piracy and stem the damage it causes to the multi-billion dollar industry. iiNet, one of Australia’s largest providers of ADSL connections, said it would fight the legal action :: Read the full article »»»»
Last year a Fairfax journalist discovered that the telco had published the names, phone numbers and addresses of customers. The journalist alerted the telco to the breach, and also informed the – OAIC – Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
The OAIC launched a year-long investigation with the Australian Communications and Media Authority – ACMA – and the agencies have now handed down their reports.
They have found Telstra made the information of 15,775 customers available for 15 months during 2012 and 2013. The information included more than 1,257 customers with silent line numbers, and related to customer data from 2009 and earlier. There were at least 166 unique downloads of the records :: Read the full article »»»»