Australia readies for cyber 'Pearl Harbour' | Pentagon awards $10 billion contract to Microsoft | Boris Johnson to grant Huawei access to UK's 5G network
The Morrison government is working on new powers to allow security agencies to defend critical private-sector infrastructure from a "Cyber Pearl Harbour" attack as concerns rise that Chinese hackers could launch an economic assault. AFR
Microsoft has won a hotly contested contract to provide cloud computing services to the Defense Department, besting Amazon in a months-long competition in which President Donald Trump threatened to intervene. CNN
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to grant China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd access to the UK's future 5G telecoms network, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday. Senior government and security services sources said the UK is moving towards a decision that will see Huawei allowed access to the "non-contentious" parts of the network, which will open rift with the United States as it has banned the company over fears that it is too close to Chinese intelligence agencies. Reuters
(New ASPI ICPC Report out tomorrow)
Australia readies for cyber 'Pearl Harbour'
The Morrison government is working on new powers to allow security agencies to defend critical private-sector infrastructure from a "Cyber Pearl Harbour" attack as concerns rise that Chinese hackers could launch an economic assault. Australian Strategic Policy Institute senior analyst for cybersecurity Tom Uren said there was a case for the government to place obligations on critical infrastructure and to direct private operators to take certain actions during an attack that became a national emergency. “But I think government unilaterally stepping against a disruptive attack from overseas assumes the government knows more than the industry and I don’t think that necessarily makes sense,” he said.
Why you should worry if you have a Chinese smartphone
China’s use of technology for social control of its citizens is extensive – but it could affect users elsewhere too, says security analyst Samantha Hoffman. “Bill Clinton said that, for China, controlling free speech online would be like “nailing Jell-O to the wall”. I wish he had been right. But unfortunately, there was too much focus on the great firewall of China and not enough on how the Chinese Communist party was trying to shape its external environment.”
China reportedly censored PewDiePie for supporting the Hong Kong protests. He’s not the only one.
China has been swift to censor information about foreign media figures who speak out in support of the protests in Hong Kong, and that number now seems to include YouTube’s biggest creator. The Chinese government appears to have either removed or censored some mentions, media, and discussions related to Felix Kjellberg, a.k.a. PewDiePie, from the Chinese internet, after Kjellberg made a video last week criticizing the country’s treatment of political protesters in Hong Kong.
China Sets Up New $29 Billion Semiconductor Fund
China has set up a new national semiconductor fund of 204.2 billion yuan ($28.9 billion), as it seeks to nurture its domestic chip industry and close the technology gap with the U.S.
Pentagon awards controversial $10 billion cloud computing contract to Microsoft in Amazon snub
Microsoft has won a hotly contested contract to provide cloud computing services to the Defense Department, besting Amazon in a months-long competition in which President Donald Trump threatened to intervene. The contract for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure is said to be worth billions of dollars over the coming decade. Amazon had long been considered the favourite to win the contract. But that changed after Trump began raising questions about whether the process had been fair. Trump has long been critical of Amazon and its founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos.
5G: Pentagon Asks Tech Sector For Help
Pentagon officials have been holding private discussions with tech industry executives to wrestle with a key question: how to ensure future supplies of the advanced computer chips needed to retain America’s military edge. The Defense Department will release a draft Request For Proposals next month, asking the private sector for ideas on how to apply 5G network technology to military purposes — including fixing glaring security problems with the new technology.
NSA: 'We know we need to do some work' on declassifying threat intel
One of the National Security Agency’s newly minted Cybersecurity Directorate’s goals is to quickly share information on adversarial threats with the private sector — but the process for doing what needs to be refined, the directorate’s leader said Thursday.
White House cybersecurity chief quits, says leadership is inviting an attack
The Next Web
White House computer security Chief Dimitrios Vistakis gave the White House one helluva resignation notice earlier this week when he quit over practices he dubbed “absurd” including the systemic purging of cybersecurity staff.
Facebook removes false ad from Pac claiming Graham backs Green New Deal
Facebook said on Saturday it had removed an ad that falsely claimed that Republican senator Lindsey Graham supported the Green New Deal, demonstrating that it will fact-check ads from political groups but not politicians.
The Hapless Shakedown Crew That Hacked Trump’s Inauguration
Days before the big event, hackers seized control of the capital’s surveillance cameras and demanded a ransom. Then everything spiralled out of control.
Users Adopt New Tactics to Spread Misleading Information Online
False and misleading information is spreading in new ways across social media, as people seeking to influence political campaigns or achieve illicit goals attempt to stay ahead of platform operators trying to stop them.
Bravo for Google’s ‘quantum supremacy.’ Here’s what needs to happen next.
Google’s demonstration marks the first time that quantum mechanical properties have been harnessed at a large-enough scale and with accurate-enough control to go beyond what traditional computing can do. However, much more work is needed in the next few years to extend and translate this computational power to solve practical and valuable problems. While that journey will be complex, three essential things need to happen to get there.
How a social network could save democracy from deadlock
Thousands of miles from the controversies around Trump and exiting the EU, a solution may have been found. For the last five years, Taiwan has been blending technology with politics to create a new way of making decisions. And with certain limits, it has found consensus where none seemed to exist.
Almost million tweets on Kashmir blocked at India’s behest
Twitter has blocked nearly a million tweets from accounts that focus on Kashmir at the behest of the Indian government, according to an investigation carried out by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Boris Johnson set to grant Huawei access to UK's 5G network
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to grant China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd access to the UK's future 5G telecoms network, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday. Senior government and security services sources said the UK is moving towards a decision that will see Huawei allowed access to the "non-contentious" parts of the network, which will open rift with the United States as it has banned the company over fears that it is too close to Chinese intelligence agencies.
Security services fear the march on universities of Beijing’s spies
MI5 and GCHQ have warned universities to put national security before commercial interest as fears grow over state theft of research and intellectual property from campuses… They are also urging chancellors to ensure that research and funding partnerships with Beijing do not compromise academic freedom or make campuses an “easy route for a hostile nation”.
Czechs unlikely to differ from Germany on Huawei approach: minister
The Czech Republic is likely to follow the approach of Germany and other neighboring countries in addressing issues related to Huawei while building 5G networks, the industry minister was quoted as saying on Thursday. The Czech cyber security watchdog NUKIB warned last December of potential risks from using Huawei technology, which raised questions over the role it can play in building next-generation 5G mobile networks after a frequencies tender next year. But that has not led to an outright ban of the Chinese company.
Chinese facial recognition tech installed in nations vulnerable to abuse
When hundreds of video cameras with the power to identify and track individuals started appearing in the streets of Belgrade as part of a major surveillance project, some protesters began having second thoughts about joining anti-government demonstrations in the Serbian capital. Besides Serbia, that list includes Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Angola, Laos, Kazakhstan, Kenya and Uganda, as well as a few liberal democracies like Germany, France and Italy. The system is used in some 230 cities, exposing tens of millions of people to its screening.
Russian operatives sacrifice followers to stay undercover on Facebook
Efforts by Russian influence campaigns to stay undetected on social media ahead of next year's U.S. elections are undermining their ability to gain followers and spread divisive political messages, a senior Facebook executive told Reuters.
Twitter “Silenced” Dissenting Voices During Anti-Government Protests In Egypt
Twitter suspended dozens of accounts critical of the Egyptian president without cause during rare anti-government demonstrations last month, according to new research… Twitter said the accounts had been suspended in error but did not elaborate.
Stalkerware: The software that spies on your partner
Also known as spouseware - are powerful surveillance software programs typically sold openly online. On a device, all messages can be read, screen activity recorded, GPS locations tracked and cameras used to spy on what an individual is doing.
The Global Cyber Expertise Magazine Issue 6 is now online
The sixth edition of the Global Cyber Expertise Magazine was presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting and is now available online here. The Global Magazine is a joint initiative by the African Union, the European Union, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the GFCE to provide an overview of cyber capacity building projects, policies and developments around the world.
The rise of information warfare: in-conversation with Peter W. Singer
This event for 29 October is SOLD OUT but you can watch a livestream on the ASPI facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ASPI.org/ - ASPI's International Cyber Policy Centre invites you to an in-conversation with Peter W. Singer and Danielle Cave to consider the rise of information warfare. Peter Warren Singer is strategist and senior fellow at New America. He has been named by the Smithsonian as one of the nation’s 100 leading innovators, by Defense News as one of the 100 most influential people in defense issues, by Foreign Policy to their Top 100 Global Thinkers List, and as an official “Mad Scientist” for the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command. A drinks and canapes reception will conclude the event. This event is kindly supported by Microsoft.