Cyber criminals are taking advantage of the Christmas season by making postal presents and party invites their latest target of attack.
One hack circulating currently is a text message scam that takes advantage of people expecting parcels from Australia Post.
Revealed by the Australian Cyber Security Centre, the messages use the branding of Australia’s postal service to send consumers fake SMS messages that say a parcel is ‘detained’, ‘you’ve missed a delivery’ or there’s an ‘important update’ to your delivery’.
These messages all include a link to click on for more details, which takes unsuspecting clickers to a fake Australia Post website where they are asked to enter your personal or financial details.
Clicking on these links can also infect your device with malware, explained the ACSC, and can be deceiving as scammers use technology that imitates a caller ID, making the messages appear in the same conversation thread as a legitimate Australia Post conversation.
According to ACSC, consumers can detect whether the texts are legitiamate by typing in Australia Post’s official website and compare it to the one in the text without clicking on it.
“Look out for an unusual sense of urgency, including demands for payment,” the cyber agency said in an alert post. “Think before you click and never provide your personal or financial details by reply SMS or email. Australia Post will never SMS customers asking for personal or financial information, or a payment.”
Meanwhile, also attempting to capitalise on the festive mood are scammers using email invites to invite people to fake end-of-year events or parties.
First detected on 10 December, the email is infiltrating inboxes using the subject ‘Invitation to our end of year event’ and contains the Adobe Document Cloud in the body.
The email then informs recipients that the sender has “sent you a download link for “Invitations.pdf”, which ends with a thank you note supposedly from ‘The AdobeCloud team’.
According to Mailgaurd, which intercepted the scam, recipients who click on the link to ‘Open’ the invite are then led to a fake Droplr-branded page containing the file sharing platform’s logo.
This then informs users that to view the invite, they need to ‘access OneDrive’, which then leads users to another page, this time using fake ‘OneDrive’ branding, where users are told log in to their email accounts to ‘to read the document’.
According to MailGuard, this is a phishing site designed to harvest users’ username and password, advising users to delete the immediately without any links.
“Festive periods such as Christmas and New Year are a common time for cyber criminals to hit inboxes with email scams,” MailGuard said in a blog post. “They exploit distracted professionals who are in a rush to finish pending tasks before going on their holiday break.
“Because of the festive season, it’s not uncommon to receive an e-invitation to the end-of-year festivities such as this in your inbox. Cybercriminals behind this scam are banking on the timely nature of this email to trick users, who might actually be expecting such invitations this time of the year.”
Red flags to spot with such scams include emails not using a user’s name, poor English or omit details such as tracking ID.
In addition, users should be vigilant if it’s a business they’re not expecting to hear from, asks to click on any suspicious links and has a link landing page or website that does not have the legitimate URL of the company the email is purporting to be sent from.
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Tags mailguardsmsaustralia postAustralian Cyber Security Centre
A new era calls for fresh blood in Buckingham Palace. In the latest season of Netflix’s lavish Emmy and Golden Globe-winning monarchy drama, Olivia Colman takes up the mantle from Claire Foy as steely Queen Elizabeth II. This season, the narrative moves away from exploring marital tension between Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and instead focuses on the now middle-aged royals as they face a rapidly modernising Britain under Harold Wilson’s prime ministership. Colman’s reign is joined by Tobias Menzies as her mellowed-out husband, and the Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret.
Season three spans the years from 1964–76, covering events such as Prince Charles’s investiture as the Prince of Wales (Josh O’Connor) and the Apollo 11 moon landing. Netflix’s review embargo prevents us from saying more, but all signs point to a dramatic ride.
By Paul Thomas Anderson (US, 2017) – 9 November
Paul Thomas Anderson’s dizzying, quietly beguiling romance – of sorts – is imbued with visual restraint and elegant beauty. In Daniel Day Lewis’s apparently final acting role, he finds charismatic rigour in Reynolds Woodcock, a famous dressmaker of London’s 1950s couture world. On the surface, it’s the story of a capricious perfectionist, finding his muse in Alma, a young, shy waitress, with whom he begins a love affair. But when the tables turn, underneath lies a domestic power struggle that develops into something disturbing – and wickedly funny. Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood composes a classical-style score that’s lush, swoony and increasingly eerie, adding enigmatic layers to the film’s perverse undertones.
By Kay Cannon (US, 2018) – 11 November
The three girls at the centre of the raunchy Blockers make a pact through emoji-coded texts to lose their virginity on prom night. Upon discovery of this thread, their overprotective parents (a hilarious Lesley Mann, Ike Barinholtz and John Cena) band together to put a stop to their daughters’ plans. It’s silly, riotous fun, with ridiculous obstacles standing in the way between parents and kids. Director Kay Cannon instils what could be an outdated concept with surprising maturity, entrusting her trio of teens with a self-aware confidence around their sexuality. Here, the unhinged adults have more to learn from the intelligent adolescents. It’s this level of depth that makes this overlooked comedy stick out from the crowd – proving the experiences of a coming-of-age story aren’t just limited to youngsters, it can be for grownups too.
Honourable mentions: Bojack Horseman season 6, part one (TV, out now), Dolemite is My Name (film, out now), Outlander season 4 (TV, 5 November), The King (film, 1 November), Seven (film, 15 November), The Irishman (film, 27 November), Atlantics (film, 29 November)
By John Carney (US, 2019)– out now
Nothing quite beats the feeling of turning on a comforting rom-com and embracing all of its gooey predictability. In John Carney’s (Once, Sing Street) anthology series, each episode brings to life stories inspired by the popular New York Times column on “relationships, feelings, betrayals, and revelations”. While it may prove frustratingly mawkish for some, there are a few gems tucked in between all the cheese. The episode titled When Cupid Is a Prying Journalist, with Dev Patel as an app founder and Catherine Keener as the journalist interviewing him for a story, particularly shines. With a stacked cast including Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey and Andrew Scott, the show’s lightness and warmth should be enough to tickle the fancy of those who want to snuggle up in bed with a cup of tea and lose themselves in some breezy escapism.
One Child Nation
By Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang (US, 2019) – 8 November
This Grand Jury prize-winning documentary from Sundance takes a deep dive into the harrowing consequences of China’s 35-year one-child policy. Told through the perspective of co-director Nanfu Wang, the film paints a shocking picture of the ways this social experiment – scrapped at the end of 2015 – affected more than 1 billion people, and continues to have a devastating impact on its citizens’ lives to this day. The film’s eye-opening revelations are simultaneously up close and personal: mothers forced into abortions, foetuses discarded in garbage dumps, abandoned babies on the streets. Among the interviewees are Wang’s own family members, village chiefs and former family planning officials – and the spectrum of emotions on display, which range from grief, guilt to remorse, is heart-wrenching. A vital, enthralling watch.
Honourable mentions: Brittany Runs a Marathon (film, 15 November), The Report (film, 29 November)
(Australia, 2019) – out now
This horror anthology, which made the rounds of the Australian film festivals earlier this year, consists of bite-sized stories from five emerging Indigenous Australian filmmakers. Full of blood and guts (at times literally), each narrative varies in style and tone, all the while leaning into and shaking up familiar horror conventions. Featuring mythical creatures from other worlds such as bush ghouls and fanged water creatures, to the murky, more realistic horrors of sex slavery, these films are united by their confrontation of Australia’s ugly colonial past and how this manifests in the present. Collectively, a telemovie that goes beyond mere spooky popcorn entertainment.
By Rachel Perkins (Australia, 2019) – new episodes every Sunday
Deborah Mailman is Alex Irving: a gutsy Indigenous activist appointed as a senator in federal parliament by prime minister Rachel Anderson (Rachel Griffiths) after a video of her role in a horrific domestic violence incident in her hometown of Winton goes viral. Directed by Rachel Perkins, Total Control features all the walking and talking, back-stabbing and moral conflict you’d expect of a political drama – but it’s made especially timely by its refreshing manoeuvring of the obvious gender and racial imbalance in Canberra, and its protagonist’s ambition to create change through the system. With puncturing, snappy dialogue, the show shines a damning spotlight on the drastically high rates of young Indigenous deaths in custody, entrenched racism, and the shortfalls in the recognition of Indigenous land rights. Mailman’s performance is magnetic, commanding, and at times gleefully unpredictable.
Honourable mentions: Frayed (TV, new episodes every Wednesday), The Strange Chores (TV, every day from 31 October), Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery (TV, 13 November), Carpark Clubbing (web series, out now)
SBS On Demand
Years and Years
By Russell T Davies (UK, 2019) – 6 November
Set in the not so distant future, this brilliant six-part BBC One series from Russell T Davies (Doctor Who, A Very English Scandal) envisions a post-2019 world that has only become “hotter and faster and madder”. It’s terrifyingly realistic, though miraculously still maintains moments of light-hearted optimism. The show is grounded in the day-to-day life of three generations of the Lyons family based in Manchester, leaping through time between 2019 and 2034. It imagines a planet where Donald Trump is elected for a second term, the north pole has melted, and China and US trade wars have escalated to the point of nuclear explosive. It’s not all doom and gloom though: energetic family dynamics and giddy technological forecasts (think Snapchat dog filters as actual masks) infuse the show with playful wit. The show is ultimately a blaring alarm bell: a glimpse of what could so easily lie ahead. It’ll be hard completely suspending your disbelief for this one.
By Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (UK, 1947) – 6 November
Eye-popping technicolour and staggering extreme close-ups come to mind when one thinks of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s psychological melodrama. Often heralded as one of the first true erotic dramas, Black Narcissus is a feast for the eyes. Amid the remarkable, lofty landscape of the Himalayas (it won the Oscar at the time for best cinematography and art direction), a group of nuns struggle to set up a convent in the high altitude of the mountains. Howling winds and geographic isolation stir up repressed memories and carnal passions, festering and eventually exploding with a hyperbolic sensuousness. In particular, the film is brought to delicious, electric heights by Kathleen Byron as Sister Ruth, driven to the brink of madness by lustful jealousy. A special collection of films by the writing, directing and producing duo Powell and Pressburger will be playing on SBS World Movies this month, later dropping into SBS On Demand.
Honourable Mentions: Sink or Swim (film, 2 November), Broadchurch box set (TV, 14 November), Blue Murder (TV, 20 November), On Becoming God in Central Florida(TV, 21 November), Wellington Paranormal Season 2 (TV, 28 November)
School of Rock
By Richard Linklater (US, 2003) – out now
The premise of a rock music enthusiast posing as a substitute teacher at a private elementary school is made irresistibly fun by the genius pairing of celebrated indie director Richard Linklater and actor Jack Black, whose sprightly comedic performance here bursts with infectious energy. A class of young gifted musicians are handed down lessons in rock‘n’roll and life, defying parental and teacher expectations with rebellious joy and humour, to compete in the Battle of the Bands. The film has since been turned into a stage musical (showing at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre from November), but it still holds up magnificently as the feel-good, rocking delight it was upon its cinematic release.
Honourable Mentions: Hairspray, Dreamgirls (films, out now), Wayne’s World (film, 2 November), Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (film, 6 November), Tom Cruise collection (films, 15 November), Grease, Saturday Night Fever (films, 16 November),
His Dark Materials
UK, 2019 – 5 November
Philip Pullman’s esteemed fantasy novel trilogy is finally given the proper treatment it deserves with this new adventure-packed TV series from HBO and the BBC. Erasing the ill-judged 2007 film The Golden Compass from memory,this adaptation stars newcomer Dafne Keen as Lyra: a young orphan living in an alternative world, where the human soul takes the form of a physical animal companion, and the north pole is the only place to escape the oppressive rule of the Magisterium. Featuring Ruth Wilson as the alluring Mrs Coulter and James McAvoy as Lyra’s adventurer uncle, the show follows Lyra in her search for her kidnapped best friend, taking her on an epic quest from Oxford up to the north pole, to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. The world-building is rich and technically impressive, capturing the complexities of the universe – peculiar and wondrous – through a child’s eyes.
Honourable Mentions: Watchmen (TV, out now), Catherine the Great (TV, 3 November), The Favourite, The Hate U Give (films, 1 November), Love Simon (film, 29 November)
From 2 November
It’s a huge month for streaming, with Apple adding their own platform into the increasingly crowded arena. At the top of their line-up is Morning Wars, the high-stakes TV drama budgeted at a gobsmacking $15m per episode (that’s as much as Game of Thrones). The A-list cast is led by Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell, and the show pulls back the curtain on the razing ambitions and tussles for power behind an early morning newscast.
Other highlights include Dickinson, a modern comedic twist on the coming-of-age story of rebellious young poet Emily Dickinson (Hailee Steinfeld); See, a dystopian future where humans have been either wiped out or blinded (with Jason Momoa as a father of twin girls gifted with vision); and The Elephant Queen, a character-driven wildlife documentary centred on a species on the verge of extinction.
While there’ll be only a small selection of originals available upon launch, the catalogue will expand in the months ahead, to include M Night Shyamalan’s thriller Servant, Oprah (an in-conversation between Winfrey and authors around the world), and Sundance award-winning film Hala, starring Australian Geraldine Viswanathan.
From 19 November
Disney’s new dedicated streaming service will house their own library of original TV shows and films, and the plentiful entertainment that falls under their subsidiaries Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, National Geographic and 20th Century Fox. Offering access to its back catalogue of nostalgia trips (Australia’s suite is yet to be announced, though this US tweet thread might clue us in on a few, including all 30 seasons of The Simpsons), it will also exclusively hold Disney’s 2019 cinema releases and beyond, including Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame and The Lion King.
Most notably, the much-anticipated live-action Star Wars TV series spin-off The Mandalorian headlines Disney+’s launch. Created by Jon Favreau, this original series is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order, following a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the Star Wars galaxy.
Other Disney+ originals to keep an eye out in their continual roll-out include The World According to Jeff Goldblum, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, the holiday comedy Noelle (all available on launch), as well as Diary of a Female President (available January 2020) and a new Lizzie McGuire series with its original cast members.
The Australian government has a cunning plan: It’s going to protect kids from pornography—by taking photos of users’ faces. Yep, you read that right.
What could possibly go wrong? The Department of Home Affairs in Canberra appears to think everything is defo dardy, so long as they’re protecting fair-dinkum ankle biters from nuddy Sheilas.
Bloody oath, Bruce. In today’s SB Blogwatch, we think of the shark biscuits.
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: gay pirate assassins.
Rack Off, Ya Mongrels
What’s the craic? Finbar O’Mallon reports that the government “suggests porn viewers be subject to face scans”:
The Department of Home Affairs has suggested using face scans to confirm people’s age before they watch online pornography. … The United Kingdom this month abandoned plans to introduce a nationwide age verification system for online pornography, after years of … concerns from privacy campaigners. … [It] would piggyback off a separate proposed facial recognition scheme being pursued by the federal government, [in] a contentious plan to permit government agencies, telecom companies and banks to use [the] technology. … Under the laws, driver’s licence, passport and visa images would be stored by the Home Affairs Department in an “interoperability hub.”
Wait, what? Claire Reilly jests—“Proving that you’re old enough for online porn could get a lot more awkward”:
Australia is going all-in with a new proposal that could require internet users to verify their identity in a face-matching database. … The first phase of the Face Verification Service launched in 2016 with a database that included citizenship images, accessible by government agencies. … However, the Government has proposed expanding the Service to include drivers’ license photos to capture a larger part of the population. … The proposal comes at a time when the issue of age verification is being keenly debated, with religious groups calling for the protection of minors and civil liberties groups raising concerns about … privacy and security.
Yikes. ryanja tries to draw parallels:
Wow, I thought it was bad when Amazon gave Ring footage to authorities without a warrant. This is literally the government wanting access to view cameras inside your house because “think of the children.”
And to what end? Pat Gunn comes right out and says it—“Children should have access to porn”:
Age limits … seem like a senseless hassle for an incomprehensible end. It’s not like it was hard for people in earlier times to get access to porn.
But is that really what they’re trying to do? A_Very_Tired_Geek is suddenly wide awake:
This is less about keeping porn away from kids, than it is keeping adults away from porn. … It’s a back door towards censoring porn sites without saying they’re actually doing that. … Then you get the slippery slope argument: first porn, then…?
What could possibly go wrong? omnichad counts the ways:
1) Data gets MITMed and used for blackmail 2) Pictures of faces – like the actual one on the ID photo will probably work fine 3) Giving any personal information to an untrusted web site … is a problem if you’re required to match up info with the face 4) Access would be limited only to devices with cameras, which is bizarre on its own 5) False positives could be associated with a different person 6) Government has a database of this activity 7) Yeah, I’ll quit now – there are too many.
But something must be done! thekaj suggests something else:
I’m certainly not advocating that parents actually promote that their kids watch porn. But it’s Children 101-level stuff to know that the more you do to tell a kid that something is forbidden, the more they’re going to want to see/do it. One only has to look at the inverse relationship between abstinence-only sex education and teen pregnancy rates to see that.
It’s touching to see how many men suddenly become champions of women’s rights, so concerned about women’s ‘freedom’ to be objectified & degraded for men’s entertainment. Their attempts to frame men’s sexual use, abuse & exploitation of women as women’s freedom are transparent. … It’s about objecting to misogyny and the view that women and girls exist to be objectified, demeaned and exploited for men’s sexual gratification. … Bit by bit, we are changing a culture that tolerates sexist and pornified representations of women as ‘normal’ and acceptable. We will continue to campaign for porn age verification to prevent Australian kids from being exposed to porn.
Meanwhile, Hallux-F-Sinister thinks of ways around it:
Very funny, Australia. … What are they going to do about kids downloading a picture of an adult [Australian citizen’s] face from the internet, printing that out or just displaying it on another device, then holding THAT up to the camera? … Good luck with all that, Australia. The kids definitely will never find a way to circumvent the things preventing them from looking at what they want to look at.
And Svip thinks of whose face to download:
I predict government data will soon show that Scott Morrison [the Prime Minister] consumes 80% of all porn.
Consumer VPN services suck; Tom Scott piles on
Previously in And Finally
You have been reading SB Blogwatch by Richi Jennings. Richi curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Hate mail may be directed to @RiCHi or firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.
Scott Morrison has indicated the federal government might be prepared to commit extra relief funding to drought-stricken communities, reaffirming the drought is the government’s top priority.
In a triumphal speech to the Liberal party’s federal council in Canberra on Saturday, Morrison again said the drought was “the most pressing and biggest call on our budget”.
“It is the first cab off the rank, the first thing we sit together and say, ‘Once we have done everything we can in this area, then we can consider other priorities’.
“It is the biggest call on the budget because it is the most pressing, the rock I’m going to put in the jar first. It is the first call because that is what is needed in our rural and regional communities. They know we cannot make it rain and they know we cannot make it like it was before the drought.”
The prime minister did not mention the climate crisis while detailing the government’s three-phase drought response package thus far: the farm household allowance for eligible farming families; the drought communities program dedicating $100m to councils affected by the drought; and long-term drought resilience plans, including money for new dams and the drought future fund.
“That is what we are doing on drought and we will keep responding,” Morrison said. “We will keep going and delivering. That is why you need resilient and strong budget. That is why we will not walk away.”
But the budget is coming under significant pressure, with a sharp downturn in the economic outlook. The IMF this week forecast a global “synchronised slowdown” of world economies, and a “precarious outlook” for recovery. Australia is forecast to grow more slowly than Greece, with 1.7% growth in 2019, a full percentage point below 2018’s 2.7%.
But the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg – currently at the G20 – has said additional drought support would not sacrifice the surplus, saying natural disasters had been taken into account when the Coalition made its pre-election pledge to return the budget to balance and then surplus next year. The midyear economic and fiscal outlook (MYEFO) will come out before Christmas. Any additional drought spending is likely to be detailed there.
The government has been criticised by Labor for moving too slowly on the drought. Accusing the government of “six years of inaction”, Labor’s Joel Fitzgibbon has called for a bipartisan drought war cabinet to be established.
“What began as crisis for our farmers fast moved to a crisis for our rural townships, which are literally running out of water,” he said. “And I fear that we now are fast approaching a threat to our food security … We need to sit the major parties down together and to start making some pretty significant decisions.”
The drought response has also been questioned by some councils, including Moyne shire in south-west Victoria, which was given $100m despite not being in drought and whose mayor said he wanted to refuse it.
“Our council has never applied for funding under this drought package or any other similar program of drought-assistance funding,” Moyne shire council mayor Mick Wolfe said.
Morrison’s speech to the party faithful in Canberra was a triumphal affair, given the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the party’s founding by Robert Menzies, the Coalition’s unexpected election win in May and his own rise to unchallenged authority within the party.
He condemned the Labor party for what he described as its “panic in a crisis” and “politics of envy”, in particular highlighting the party’s current corruption issues in NSW.
The Liberal party federal council will also debate a series of motions from various branches of the party.
The Young Liberals called on the party to “reaffirm its strong support for freedom of speech and the rule of law around the world and supports the right of the people of Hong Kong to protests peacefully in defence of those freedoms”.
The Morrison government’s rhetoric towards China has become increasingly bellicose in recent weeks: the home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, accused the Chinese Communist Party of political repression, intellectual property theft and cyber hacking; the foreign affairs minister, Marise Payne, has been forthright in her demands over detained Australian writer Yang Hengjun; while Morrison has taken an uncompromising position on China’s “developing nation” status at the WTO.
However, it’s unclear whether an overtly political motion such as the Young Liberals’ support for Hong Kong will win broader party support.
The ACT branch of the Liberal party has called on the government to “prioritise a free trade agreement with the UK over the European Union” and also wants the government to reject European demands for “geographic indicators” on food products in Australia, such as on feta, gruyere and gorgonzola cheeses.
The ACT Liberals also want investigation of “innovative financing options” for a high-speed rail linking Australia’s east-coast capitals.
And the West Australian branch want legislation mandating that public funding for both “yes” and “no” campaigns be equal at all future constitutional referenda, a legacy of the marriage equality campaign.
Asean and Australia should work closer together on cybersecurity issues, which range from Internet crimes to fake news, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Sunday (March 18).
In a speech to other Asean leaders and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a plenary session at the Asean-Australia Special Summit, he noted that cybercrimes are a transboundary problem that is difficult to police.
“It can have a drastic impact on our populations, for example in terms of critical infrastructure; and it can be insidious – undermining the trust which holds our societies together, for example through fake news.”
The world is getting more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats, not less, he added, and so it is essential for governments to develop new rules and norms to cope with the challenge.
There is also potential for this region to play a role in the international discourse on cyber-security, Mr Lee said, noting that a proposed Asean-Australia Cyber Policy Dialogue can be a platform for greater policy exchange and capacity-building.
Another promising area for strategic cooperation is in developing smart cities, he said.
A new Asean-Australia Smart Cities Initiative, announced by Mr Turnbull on Saturday, complements the Asean Smart Cities Network initiative and Asean’s Masterplan on Asean Connectivity 2025, he added.
For a country with a culture based on taking things as they come, Check Point has said Australia is taking the threat of cybersecurity seriously.
Previously, organisations in Australia were protected by the country’s geographic isolation, but as business is now being carried out at scale via the internet, Tony Jarvis, chief strategist of threat prevention at security vendor Check Point, has said everyone is “fair game” when it comes to the threat of a breach.
Speaking with ZDNet, Jarvis said organisations in Australia used to have the luxury of foresight, watching peers from bigger parts of the world deal with security-related incidents six months before the trend entered Australia, providing them with ample time to prepare.
However, that is no longer the case, as highlighted by theWannaCry ransomwarethat claimed hundreds of thousands of victims across 150 countries,reaching speed and red-light camerason state roads in Victoria, andPetya, which even haltedchocolate production at Cadbury’sTasmanian factory.
“When you’re doing business on the internet, which everybody is, everybody is fair game at exactly the same point in time, so we have to be cognizant of that,” Jarvis said.
“Australia is good at taking that seriously, they do appreciate that risk, and translating that into taking the necessary actions and preventative measures is definitely on the agenda.
“Australia is making good progress.”
He said it is important to remember there’s no such thing as cybersecurity in the sense that nothing can be 100 percent secure.
“Rather, cyber resilience, and being prepared as you can be while also acknowledging the fact that something might slip through the cracks, and having a plan in place to deal with that should it happen,” he explained.
“Australia is definitely taking the right steps, everybody faces slightly different risks, but more or less they’re all on the same sort of path.”
Australians have a reputation of being heavy consumers of technology, and with the estimation that there will be20.4 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devicesdeployed by 2020, Jarvis said securing these devices should be a priority, given that IoT presents a future that is very difficult to secure.
He said it’s important for everyone involved, including designers, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers, to be aware of the security risks.
“There’s always a lot of hype in the security industry, unfortunately, and a good part of our time is spent on deciphering what is hype and what is fact,” Jarvis explained.
“Unfortunately, when we start talking about IoT, a lot of the hype is real.
“We live in a capitalist society; we have manufacturers and companies whose job is to put products on the shelf that we want to go out and buy and they improve our life somehow, such as fitbits and other fitness trackers,
“Unfortunately, security lags quite a number of years behind bringing these products to market.”
While there are a number of best practice guidelines published by the likes ofIoT Alliance Australiaand theCloud Security Alliance, there’s no unanimous decision on which standard to adopt, nor is there an overarching body to make sure every part of the process adheres to agreed guidelines.
“Not all manufacturers will adhere to those standards, but even if they do, if there’s a vulnerability that’s found on a specific device, how do you actually go and remediate or patch that, because it’s not always possible,” Jarvis added.
“A lot of the hype in this case is justified.
“We don’t need to be worried, but we do need to be cognizant.”
The Australian government should not force technology companies to weaken the security of their products or to subvert encryption, Human Rights Watch said last week in a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. That strategy would undermine cybersecurity for all users and would not stop determined criminals from using encryption….
Former head of security for NBN and Telecom New Zealand Malcolm Shore, who has also worked in NZ Defence security, has been appointed Huawei Australia’s cybersecurity officer. Huawei Australia has announced appointing former Australian National Broadband Network (NBN) and Telecom New Zealand head of security Dr Malcolm Shore as its…
Australia and Singapore have agreed to strengthen cybersecurity cooperation, with a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on Friday (Jun 2). Key areas of collaboration include having a regular exchange of information on cybersecurity incidents and threats, sharing best practices to promote innovation in cybersecurity, training in cybersecurity skillsets, and…
STI levels are rising rapidly across Australia, and health experts are pointing the blame at dating apps like Tinder and Grindr. Chlamydia is currently the most widespread sexually transmitted infection, with 80,000 cases diagnosed a year in Australia – but gonorrhoea levels has doubled and even tripled in some regions. ‘For some people the fun is increased by taking sexual risks with people they meet on dating apps,’ Associate Professor David Whiley at the University of Queensland’s Centre for Clinical Research, told 9 News. Read More….