Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, and others compromised in unprecedented Twitter hack I CIA authorised by Trump to conduct covert cyber operations I Huawei allegedly bribes Namibian city councillor
Twitter accounts belonging to former President Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West and Apple, among other prominent handles, were compromised on Wednesday and posted tweets that appeared to promote a cryptocurrency scam. CNN Business
The Central Intelligence Agency has conducted a series of covert cyber operations against Iran and other targets since winning a secret victory in 2018 when President Trump signed what amounts to a sweeping authorization for such activities, according to former U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the matter. Yahoo News
A city councillor in Namibia's capital has alleged she was offered a bribe by a local politician to ensure Chinese tech giant Huawei would win an exclusive contract to build the 5G telecommunication network in Windhoek. Al Jazeera
Governments Need Clear Plans to Respond to Disinformation, Experts Say
Dr Jake Wallis told a panel hosted by Twitter’s Global Public Policy team and the Carnegie Endowment’s Partnership for Countering Influence Operations: “This is going to be an ongoing problem because democracies really broadly speaking haven't yet figured out what their threshold of response and deterrence is to influence operations."
Read ASPI’s ICPC’s Retweeting Through the Great Firewall report.
Deepfake used to attack activist couple shows new disinformation frontier
The Taylor persona is a rare in-the-wild example of a phenomenon that has emerged as a key anxiety of the digital age: The marriage of deepfakes and disinformation. The threat is drawing increasing concern in Washington and Silicon Valley.
Read ASPI ICPC’s Weaponised deep fakes - National security and democracy report.
There are calls to ban TikTok in Australia – but you should worry about Facebook too
The concern over what data TikTok might be collecting on its users and providing to government authorities should be a concern for every app, not just those linked to China. TikTok wrote to Australian politicians to say it was being used as a “political football” in the diplomatic fight between Australia, the US and China, and claimed it was misinformation to suggest the app was providing user data back to the Chinese government, or storing Australian data within China.
Tech's 'Indigenous lives matter' moment
Australia needs to capitalise on its ‘Indigenous lives matter’ moment and help focus on training up young Indigenous tech professionals, according to the co-founder of tech-focused non-profit Indigitek.
Labor seeks cybersecurity strategy briefing
Labor has demanded a briefing from the government on it’s massive $1.35 billion cybersecurity strategy and assurance that work is being done to improve information security of the public sector.
When a rising star of China’s live-streamers fell in love offline, it cost her the virtual world
South China Morning Post
With thousands of followers, Shanghai live-streamer Nai Nai was a girlfriend to many, until she met Chinese internet legend Jiang Bo. Little did she know the price she would pay for her feelings—it cost her virtual world.
More Malware Found Hidden in Chinese Tax Software
A malware campaign hiding backdoors in mandatory Chinese corporate tax software is far more extensive than at first thought, according to researchers from Trustwave.
Twitter accounts of Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and others apparently hacked
Twitter accounts belonging to Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Apple, among other prominent handles, were compromised on Wednesday and posted tweets that appeared to promote a cryptocurrency scam. The accounts, along with those of former President Barack Obama, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos and Mike Bloomberg, posted similar tweets soliciting donations via Bitcoin to their verified profiles on Wednesday.
Twitter Accounts for Biden, Gates, Musk and Others Are Hacked. The New York Times
Alistair Coleman @alistaircolemanLoads of blue tick accounts being hacked tonight and posting the same bitcoin scam. https://t.co/Jb0SsD6rEq
Exclusive: Secret Trump order gives CIA more powers to launch cyberattacks
@zachsdorfman @KimZetter @JennaMC_Laugh @SeanDNaylor
The Central Intelligence Agency has conducted a series of covert cyber operations against Iran and other targets since winning a secret victory in 2018 when President Trump signed what amounts to a sweeping authorization for such activities, according to former U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the matter.
Trump Administration Strips C.D.C. of Control of Coronavirus Data
The New York Times
The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all Covid-19 patient information to a central database in Washington beginning on Wednesday. The move has alarmed health experts who fear the data will be politicized or withheld from the public.
The Pentagon’s $1 Million Question: Can AI Predict An Enemy’s Emotions?
The Pentagon's research arm has pumped $1 million into a contract to build an AI tool meant to decode and predict the emotions of allies and enemies. It even wants the AI app to advise generals on major military decisions. DARPA's backing is the starting pistol for a race with the government and startups to use AI to predict emotions but the science behind it is deeply controversial.
Taiwan digital minister warns of China's 5G 'Trojan horse'
Nikkei Asian Review
Putting Chinese equipment in a country's core telecom infrastructure is akin to inviting a Trojan horse into the network, Taiwan's digital minister told the Nikkei Asian Review. "There's no such thing as pure private companies in China. From the perspective of the PRC, the ruling party can change your leader whenever the situation is intense," Audrey Tang said.
How China’s Great Firewall Could Encircle Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s internet users worry that the new national security law imposed on the city by the Chinese government will end up cutting off the free flow of information, landing them on the dark side of China’s Great Firewall. One social media company has pulled out, others are considering how far they can push back against the law’s provisions and keep doing business.
Chinese state hackers target Hong Kong Catholic Church
China's government hackers have targeted members of the Hong Kong Catholic Church in a series of spear-phishing operations traced back to May this year. The attacks have come to light after reports that some of Hong Kong's church leaders and clergy have been directly involved in supporting pro-democracy protests despite orders from the Vatican to remain neutral.
South and Central Asia
Google invests in Indian internet giant Jio and plans new ‘affordable’ smartphone
Google is investing $4.5 billion for a 7.73 percent stake in Jio Platforms, an Indian internet giant that offers broadband, mobile services, and online commerce platforms, the company announced today. The investment, which is pending regulatory review, is part of Google’s commitment to invest around $10 billion in India over the next five to seven years.
Twitter wants to simplify finding information during disasters
Twitter India has teamed up with the National Disaster Response Force (@NDRFHQ) in India to expand its efforts towards handling disaster situations. It will be available on Android, iOS, and mobile.twitter.com in India. It will be available in English and Hindi languages. The Twitter team will verify and review that feature at regular intervals to keep the search prompt relevant to the keyword used.
Pakistan Is Using a Terrorism Surveillance System to Monitor the Pandemic
Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan revealed that the country’s military-run spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence had provided ‘a great system for track and trace.’ There is little transparency about the nature of the ISI’s track and trace technology itself, other than the fact that it uses a combination of a geofencing tracking system, which alerts authorities when someone leaves a specific geographic area, and call-monitoring mechanisms.
U.K. Bars Huawei for 5G as Tech Battle Between China and the West Escalates
The New York Times
@satariano @_StephenCastle @SangerNYT
“The democratic West has woken up late to its overdependence on a country whose values are diametrically opposed to it,” said Robert Hannigan, a former head of the British digital surveillance agency GCHQ, who is now an executive at the cybersecurity firm BlueVoyant. “Huawei and other Chinese companies present a real cybersecurity risk, but the primary threat comes from the intent of the Chinese Communist Party, as we see in Hong Kong.”
How rebel MPs, and Trump, forced Boris Johnson into a Huawei backflip
The Sydney Morning Herald
British MPs firmly believe that like in Australia, voters want the government to reduce its dependence on Chinese supply lines. This is a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic and Beijing's subsequent belligerence that galvanised MPs in a way the Trump administration's entreaties never could, as the litany of questions from MPs from all parties on Hong Kong, China's human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Huawei's own connections to the Chinese states in the Commons demonstrated. And here lies a cautionary warning for Beijing, while its wolf-warrior diplomacy may be a good show for its state-controlled media The Global Times and Xinhua, it only enables its critics around the globe to push harder for outcomes they might otherwise have failed to achieve and in short, a disaster for the very companies China is trying so hard to market.
Read ASPI’s Huawei and Australia's 5G Network report.
British chip designer Graphcore unveils new AI processor more complex than Nvidia’s
Graphcore, a well-funded and ambitious British chip designer that focuses solely on AI applications, has unveiled what it says is the world’s most complex chip: the Colossus MK2 or GC200 IPU. The processor has 59.4 billion transistors and offers an eight times performance increase from the company’s Colossus MK1.
Apple Scores Legal Victory Against $14.9 Billion E.U. Tax Demand
The New York Times
Apple won a major legal victory on Wednesday against European antitrust regulators as a European court overruled a 2016 decision that ordered the company to pay $14.9 billion in unpaid taxes to Ireland.
UK ban on Huawei prompts calls for tougher EU approach
The United Kingdom's decision to ban Huawei from its 5G networks triggered a wave of calls Wednesday to toughen up telecom security in other parts of Europe. The calls suggest that while other EU countries have taken a softer approach to the Chinese telecom giant, political pressure could bring a shift to harder lines.
In Rare Surge of Online Unity, Iranians Call for Halt to Executions
The New York Times
Iranians from all walks of life have taken to social media with a message for the government: Stop the executions. The online campaign, which took place on Tuesday and which analysts said was remarkable for its scope and the breadth of its support, was in response to the judiciary’s announcement earlier in the day that it had upheld the death sentences of three young men who joined antigovernment protests in November.
Exclusive: Corruption allegations in Namibian 5G deal with Huawei
A city councillor in Namibia's capital has alleged she was offered a bribe by a local politician to ensure Chinese tech giant Huawei would win an exclusive contract to build the 5G telecommunication network in Windhoek.
An Ethics Guide for Tech Gets Rewritten With Workers in Mind
The Ethical Explorer Pack is designed to help Silicon Valley's rank and file—not just CEOs—steer products away from harmful directions.
A New Map Shows the Inescapable Creep of Surveillance
Over 1,300 partnerships with Ring. Hundreds of facial recognition systems. Dozens of cell-site simulator devices. The surveillance apparatus in the United States takes all kinds of forms in all kinds of places’ a huge number of which populate a new map called the Atlas of Surveillance.
Mozilla project exposes YouTube's recommendation 'bubbles'
Mozilla’s new project, “TheirTube,” is offering a glance at theoretical YouTube homepages for users in six different categories -- fruitarian, doomsday prepper, liberal, conservative, conspiracist and climate denier. Through these different personas, Mozilla hopes to demonstrate how YouTube’s recommendation algorithm could confirm certain biases.
Google Cloud launches super-secure Confidential VMs
First launch from Google's new Confidential Computing business promises greater security and privacy. The company has unveiled Confidential VMs, a new Google Cloud platform which it says offers a breakthrough in encryption technology, keeping your business data secure in the cloud.
SecuriDay | Canberra 2020
Kids SecuriDay is going digital! Our August event is tied to National Science Week which will be going entirely digital so we will be too. The National Science Week schools theme this year is 'Deep Blue: innovations for the future of our oceans' so our theme will be pirates! We've got a stack of fun talks, workshops, competitions and games planned so keep an eye out for our upcoming announcements.
Closing the Gap - EU Cyber Direct
EU Cyber Direct
As part of the European Cyber Diplomacy Initiative, the EU Cyber Direct project joined forces with the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and numerous research institutions to organise an international conference that contributes to closing the gap between scholars and practitioners working on cyber-related issues. The conference aimed to foster productive exchanges between different generations of scholars, disciplines, sectors and regions. As an expression of ‘academic diplomacy’, the conference brought together researchers from around the world.
Program Manager/Senior Analyst
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has an outstanding opportunity for a talented, proactive and super efficient program manager/senior analyst to join its growing centre. The successful candidate will need to have a proven track record of leading teams and experience in project management including financial and stakeholder management (which will include industry, the Australian Government, Parliament and foreign governments). To succeed in this position candidates should have exceptional communication and problem-solving skills and experience in research, policy analysis or policy development.
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre has an outstanding opportunity for a talented and proactive allrounder to join its growing centre. The ICPC is looking for someone who is an excellent writer and researcher and who is a team player - you will need to juggle multiple research projects that could span the range of topics listed above. This is not an entry level position. Analysts in ICPC have between 5-15 years’ relevant work experience and, depending on experience, are involved in stakeholder and project management, fundraising and the management of small teams.
GFCE Working Group Coordinator
The Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) Secretariat is seeking an organized, efficient, and communicative GFCE Working Group Coordinator to join the GFCE Secretariat’s team in its main office in The Hague, the Netherlands, starting 16 August 2020.