Australia promises cyber support to Ukraine | Home Affairs Bills covering cyber, ransomware, telco data enter Parliament | Israel appoints ex-general as head of govt cyber security
Australia will expand cyber training for Ukrainian officials and could join a broader coalition of Western countries to provide the besieged Eastern European nation with military equipment or other support as fears of a Russian invasion continue to mount. ABC News
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews introduced three new Bills into Parliament on Thursday, covering the federal government's ransomware action plan, critical aviation and marine cybersecurity, and mobile phone access in prisons. ZDNet
Israel's cabinet on Sunday approved the appointment of retired military intelligence general Gaby Portnoy to head the country's National Cyber Directorate, the Prime Minister's Office said. Reuters
Sydney Dialogue: Increasing resilience in a post-pandemic world
Covid-19 has created unprecedented disruption to our economic, health, and travel systems. The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of governments, scientists, and industry leaders working together to ensure healthy and thriving communities. How will this relationship re-write itself in the wake of the pandemic? In this panel discussion, speakers will look at how governments, scientists and industry leaders can better work together to protect global health and promote economic recovery using technology. Register for the session which will be streamed this afternoon from 5.30pm AEDT.
Young guns -Is a generation gap fuelling Australia’s China debate?
Australian Foreign Affairs
Fergus Ryan, an analyst for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, who has written extensively about Chinese technology and censorship, was one of those who kept going back to China as it boomed, opened up to the world and took tentative steps towards liberalisation. He spent several years studying and working in the country, learning the language and finding his feet in the corporate sector, even working for one of China’s biggest film stars, Li Bingbing. “I think my trajectory is quite common,” Ryan tells me.“I started off quite hopeful, and the China that I knew when I was first going over there was much more open in the Hu Jintao era. It was really exciting to open up a Weibo account for the first time and read opinions on there and look at the debate. But then, slowly but surely, over time – and this accelerated when Xi [Jinping] came to power – that civic space just shank and shrank and shrank.”
Could foreign interference change the federal election outcome? Here's what you need to know
Large donations to political parties and well-orchestrated misinformation campaigns are just some of the tools some countries may use to interfere with the political systems of other nations. Fergus Hanson – director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s (ASPI) International Cyber Policy Centre – told SBS News the use of money can be very effective.
Why China is censoring re-released episodes of hit TV show Friends
The US sitcom Friends holds a unique place in Chinese pop culture. But fans have been outraged this week over the censorship of re-released episodes of the program. Fergus Ryan, a leading China researcher from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the censorship reflected Beijing's concern about the country's declining birth rate.
Australia promises cyber support to Ukraine as Russian forces array along its borders
Australia will expand cyber training for Ukrainian officials and could join a broader coalition of Western countries to provide the besieged Eastern European nation with military equipment or other support as fears of a Russian invasion continue to mount.
Australian cyber spies to aid Ukraine as country prepares for Russian attack
The Sydney Morning Herald
Australian cyber spies will help train Ukraine to defend against hack attacks from Russia amid warnings Moscow could move to invade the country within days. The Australian government on Sunday night joined with other countries in publicly attributing cyber attacks against the Ukrainian banking sector last week to a Russian spy agency.
Trio of Home Affairs Bills covering cyber, ransomware, telco data enter Parliament
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews introduced three new Bills into Parliament on Thursday, covering the federal government's ransomware action plan, critical aviation and marine cybersecurity, and mobile phone access in prisons.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison accuses Chinese warship of 'reckless and irresponsible' act after laser was shone at RAAF aircraft
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says a Chinese military vessel shining a laser at an Australian maritime aircraft was an "act of intimidation" that put Defence Force lives at risk. Defence says the incident occurred at 12:35am on Thursday, when an RAAF P-8A Poseidon detected a military-grade laser illuminating the aircraft while in flight just north of Australia.
US report finds big weaknesses in China’s defence industry base
The South China Morning Post
China’s reliance on hi-tech imports and potential workforce shortages in the next decade are two big looming vulnerabilities for its defence industry, according to a new report by a US think tank.
Behind China’s Olympics, the saga of a chained woman unfolds
The Associated Press
The post, on China’s Weibo social platform, resembled many others posted by official media during these Olympics — an ode to freestyle skier Eileen Gu, known to Chinese as Gu Ailing. “The biggest gold medal in Eileen Gu’s heart,” it teased. Underneath, in the comments from users, came the questions. They were not on topic. They were about something else entirely — a chained woman captured in a viral video 500 miles from Beijing, on the southeastern China coast.
Bots and Fake Accounts Push China’s Vision of Winter Olympic Wonderland
The New York Times
Steven Lee Myers, Paul Mozur and Jeff Kao
While China’s control of what its domestic viewers and readers consume is well established, the country has spread its own version of the Games beyond its borders, with an arsenal of digital tools that are giving China’s narrative arguably greater reach and more subtlety than ever before.
China Orders Cuts for Food-Delivery Fees, Sparking Tech Selloff
The Wall Street Journal
Anniek Bao and Yifan Wang
Chinese authorities on Friday said the country’s online food-delivery platforms should reduce the fees they charge businesses, sending shares of industry giant Meituan 3690 -14.86% plummeting to their lowest level in more than a year.
U.S. adds WeChat, AliExpress to notorious piracy market list
Ana Monteiro and Eric Martin
The U.S. added Chinese messaging platform WeChat and online marketplace AliExpress to its list of notorious markets for counterfeiting and piracy, an annual compilation of the worst intellectual-property abusers and counterfeiters.
US must get tough on fighting Chinese cyber espionage, congressional advisory panel is told
The South China Morning Post
The US government’s leading advisory panel on China policy was told on Thursday that Washington must devote more resources to countering Chinese cyber espionage and cyberwarfare capabilities and make companies like Microsoft and Google play a more active role in the effort.
Meta axes a head of global community development after he appears on video in underage sex sting
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has confirmed to TechCrunch that Jeren A. Miles, who had been a manager of global community development, is no longer employed by the company after a video went viral on YouTube, which was then reposted on Reddit and other sites, featuring him in a sting operation conducted by amateurs with the intent of catching paedophiles.
FBI to form digital currency unit, Justice Dept taps new crypto czar
Sarah N. Lynch and Chris Prentice
The U.S. Justice Department has tapped a seasoned computer crimes prosecutor to lead its new national cryptocurrency enforcement team and announced on Thursday that the FBI is launching a unit for blockchain analysis and virtual asset seizure.
Facebook whistleblower alleges executives misled investors about climate, covid hoaxes in new SEC complaint
The Washington Post
A pair of whistleblower complaints filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission this month allege Facebook misled investors about its efforts to combat climate change and covid-19 misinformation, according to redacted copies of the documents viewed by The Washington Post.
DOJ official warns companies 'foolish' not to shore up cybersecurity amid Russia tensions
Alexander Mallin andLuke Barr
A top Justice Department official issued a stark warning Thursday to companies in the U.S. and abroad, calling on them to immediately shore up their cybersecurity defenses amid a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine.
A Child’s TikTok Stardom Opens Doors. Then a Gunman Arrives.
The New York Times
What began as an enterprising teenager’s lockdown venture has awakened a family of five to how online fame can fuel real-world violence.
NZ & Pacific Islands
Elon Musk donates satellite terminals to Tonga after MP’s request
Elon Musk is donating 50 satellite terminals to Tonga after the island encountered communications issues following last month’s volcanic eruption and tsunami.
Government gets five proposals for semiconductor chip plants
The New Indian Express
The government on Saturday informed that it has received 5 applications for semiconductor and display fabrication units with a total investment to the tune of $20.5 billion.
Ukraine, UK, Poland announce security pact amid heightened tensions
The Ukrainian government announced a new security pact with the U.K. and Poland Feb. 17, as the day’s developments upped the ante yet again in the standoff with Russia.
Ukraine accuses Russia of cyber-attack on two banks and its defence ministry
Ukraine accused Russia on Wednesday of being behind a cyber-attack that targeted two banks and its defence ministry, which the country’s deputy prime minister said was the largest of its type ever seen.
Ukraine: how cyber-attacks became so important to the conflict
For the past few weeks, Russia has been deploying military forces into strategic positions on Ukraine’s borders. However, there is another, virtual dimension to the escalating conflict: cyber-attacks on Ukrainian government and business websites and services.
Nick Waters @N_Waters89A clear, well sourced and extremely worrying report by RUSI regarding Russian intentions and capabilities in Ukraine. https://t.co/TQQioCMPAK
Metadata shows pro-Russian separatists filmed evacuation video days earlier
Metadata from the messaging app Telegram indicates that pro-Russian separatist leaders created videos ordering "emergency" evacuations from eastern Ukraine two days ago, but posted them on Friday, Bellingcat first reported and Axios can confirm.
UK assess Russian involvement in cyber attacks on Ukraine
UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
The Government today attributed the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against the Ukrainian banking sector on 15 and 16 February 2022 to have involved the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU). The decision to publicly attribute this incident underlines the fact that the UK and its allies will not tolerate malicious cyber activity.
The Cybersecurity Risks of an Escalating Russia-Ukraine Conflict
Harvard Business Review
Paul R. Kolbe, Maria Robson Morrow, and Lauren Zabierek
As warnings of an imminent Russian attack on Ukraine proliferate, news networks and social media have featured clips of Russian armed forces training, exercising, and preparing to fight. Less visible are Russia’s formidable cyber forces that would be preparing to unleash a new wave of cyber-attacks on Ukrainian and western energy, finance, and communications infrastructure. Whether an invasion occurs now or not, tensions will remain high, and the cyber threat will likely wax, not wane.
Russia is trying to build its own great firewall
Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, has portrayed his aggression on the Ukrainian border as pushing back against Western advances. For some time he has been doing much the same online. He has long referred to the internet as a “CIA project”. His deep belief that the enemy within and the enemy without are in effect one and the same means that if Alexei Navalny, Mr Putin’s foremost internal foe, uses YouTube—his video of the president’s seaside palace was viewed more than 120m times—then YouTube and its corporate parent, Google, are enemies, too.
Israel appoints ex-general as head of government cyber security
Israel's cabinet on Sunday approved the appointment of retired military intelligence general Gaby Portnoy to head the country's National Cyber Directorate, the Prime Minister's Office said.
Who Is Behind QAnon? Linguistic Detectives Find Fingerprints
The New York Times
David D. Kirkpatrick
Using machine learning, separate teams of computer scientists identified the same two men as likely authors of messages that fueled the viral movement.
The war on free speech - censorship's global rise
Liberal democracies, rather than constituting a counterweight to the authoritarian onslaught, are themselves contributing to the free-speech recession. In the wealthy, established democracies of Europe and North America, elites in political, academic, and media institutions that once cherished free expression as the lifeblood of democracy now worry that “free speech is killing us,” as the title of a 2019 New York Times op-ed by the writer Andrew Marantz put it. Many now point to unmediated disinformation and hateful speech on the Internet as evidence that free speech is being weaponized against democracy itself. Meanwhile, the growing strength and geopolitical clout of authoritarian and illiberal regimes have led to brutal limits on freedom of expression in many developing and middle-income countries that not long ago seemed poised to become freer, more open societies.
What To Expect With Cyber Surprise
You can’t predict a surprise. But, the degree of surprise often varies. Some, like the attack on Pearl Harbor, are deep strategic surprises (for the classic analysis, I recommend Roberta Wohlstetter’s “Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision.”) The 9/11 attacks were similarly disorienting. Others, like the Bengals victory over the Chiefs in the NFL playoffs, are surprising in one sense (since the Chiefs were favored), but not so utterly unanticipated that they are deeply disruptive. As the Russian-Ukraine crisis moves forward it might be useful to think about surprise in that context—particularly with respect to cybersecurity matters.
Increasing Resilience in a Post-Pandemic World
The Sydney Dialogue
Covid-19 has created unprecedented disruption to our economic, health, and travel systems. The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of governments, scientists, and industry leaders working together to ensure healthy and thriving communities. How will this relationship re-write itself in the wake of the pandemic? In this panel discussion, speakers will look at how governments, scientists and industry leaders can better work together to protect global health and promote economic recovery using technology. Streaming on Monday 21st February at 5:30pm AEDT.
ASPI Webinar Launch: The future of assistance to law enforcement in an end-to-end encrypted world
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre is delighted to invite you to the online launch of its new report ‘The future of assistance to law enforcement in an end-to-end encrypted world’. Join report author Tom Uren alongside panellists Brendan Dowling, First Assistant Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs Digital and Policy Division, and Clair Deevy, Director of Public Policy at WhatsApp for a discussion on how encryption has affected assistance to law enforcement, moderated by ASPI's Fergus Hanson.
The Sydney Dialogue - Director
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) is currently recruiting for a Director to lead the second iteration of ASPI’s Sydney Dialogue - the world’s premier summit on emerging, critical and cyber technologies. ASPI’s largest event, The Sydney Dialogue, brings together heads of government, Ministers, the most senior tech company executives, and prominent civil society leaders to discuss forefront technology issues. Last year’s inaugural Dialogue was a resounding success, attracting the highest caliber of speakers including Australian Prime Minister Morrison and Indian Prime Minister Modi. The Dialogue reached an audience of close to 1 billion people across the globe.
The Sydney Dialogue - Senior Events Coordinator
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) is currently recruiting for an experienced events professional to coordinate the planning and logistics of the second iteration of ASPI’s Sydney Dialogue - the world’s premier summit on emerging, critical and cyber technologies.
ICPC Senior Analyst or Analyst - China
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has a unique opportunity for exceptional and experienced China-focused senior analysts or analysts to join its centre. This role will focus on original research and analysis centred around the (growing) range of topics which our ICPC China team work on. Our China team produces some of the most impactful and well-read policy-relevant research in the world, with our experts often being called upon by politicians, governments, corporates and civil society actors to provide briefings and advice. Analysts usually have at least 5 years, often 7-10 years’ of work experience. Senior analysts usually have a minimum of 15 years relevant work experience and, in addition to research, they take on a leadership role in the centre and tend to be involved in staff and project management, fundraising and stakeholder engagement.
ICPC Data Analyst
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has an outstanding opportunity for talented Data Analysts to join its growing centre. ASPI’s ICPC undertakes complex research on some of the most challenging issues at the intersection of technology and public policy. How do we develop international norms to deter information operations and coercive diplomacy, how should we build international cooperation on the development of emerging critical technologies, what is the right balance between regulation and innovation? We deliver empirical research that is policy-relevant and we’re looking for people who can help us analyse data at scale.