Google claims quantum breakthrough | Monash uni partners with Chinese state firm linked to industrial espionage | ACSC confirms it killed off CyberCon whistleblower talks
Google said on Wednesday that it had achieved a long-sought breakthrough called “quantum supremacy,” which could allow new kinds of computers to do calculations at speeds that are inconceivable with today’s technology. The New York Times
Monash University has struck a $10 million research agreement with a Chinese state-owned aerospace company that was last week linked to a global industrial espionage campaign. The Sydney Morning Herald
The Australian government's cyber security agency has confirmed it pressured organisers of a major conference to scrap two speakers a week out from the event. The Canberra Times
This report explains how the party-state’s tech-enhanced authoritarianism is expanding globally. The effort doesn’t always involve distinctly coercive and overtly invasive technology, such as surveillance cameras. In fact, it often relies on technologies that provide useful services.
Monash University partners with Chinese state firm linked to industrial espionage
The Sydney Morning Herald
Monash University has struck a $10 million research agreement with a Chinese state-owned aerospace company that was last week linked to a global industrial espionage campaign.. The partnership will establish a research and development facility in Melbourne and could include work on advanced manufacturing, robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and big data, sources told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. COMAC, China's rival to the United States' Boeing and Europe's Airbus, has been tied to a major theft of intellectual property involving Beijing's Ministry of State Security and state-backed hackers.. Alex Joske, an analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the alleged industrial espionage campaign raised "serious concerns about the lengths to which the Chinese government is willing to go to support COMAC". Mr Joske said it was "nearly impossible" to separate civilian and military applications of research with COMAC.
Cyber agency pressured conference to drop whistleblower from speaking
The Australian government's cyber security agency has confirmed it pressured organisers of a major conference to scrap two speakers a week out from the event. Head of the Australian Signals Directorate's Australian Cyber Security Centre Rachel Noble confirmed she asked CyberCon 2019 organisers to withdraw invitations for Thomas Drake and Suelette Dreyfus to speak at the event.
Cyber hacking nation’s identity withheld: spy agency
Australia’s cyber spy agency knows “with a very high level of confidence” which nation hacked the federal parliament and the Australian National University, but says the government chose not to name the country after considering the economic costs of doing so. The Australian Signals Directorate’s Australian Cyber Security Centre told Senate Estimates it was more than 90 per cent certain which nation state was behind the attacks. But ACSC head Rachel Noble said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was the main agency responsible for advising the government on whether to call out the perpetrator. “The policy actually belongs to the Department of Foreign Affairs,” she said.
No such thing' as cyber warfare: Australia's head of cyber warfare
Earlier this year Thompson expressed concerns that while Australia has "good" cyber defence capabilities, those capabilities might not be able to scale if Australia was faced with a large-scale attack in a cyber realm. On Tuesday, he said that when we think about "cyber warfare, cyber-enabled influence, that broader information warfare thing", three questions have been "burning" him for some time.
Facebook removed 'coordinated inauthentic behaviour' during Australian election
Facebook has revealed it removed two instances of “coordinated inauthentic behaviour” on its platform during the Australian federal election in May, but insists it does not want to be the arbiter of truth, or to “referee political debates”.
Cyber scare shuts down hospital IT systems in rural north-east
The Sydney Morning Herald
A number of rural health services in the state’s north-east were forced to shut down their IT systems due to a malware virus. The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed on Wednesday a virus was detected in handful of desktop computers at two health services in the Hume region and staff forced to turn of IT systems for a short period to isolate it.
Aussies report cyber crime every 10 mins
A new online tool allowing Australians to report cyber crime received one complaint every 10 minutes in the first quarter of 2019. Lieutenant General John Frewen, acting head of the Australian Signals Directorate, told a Senate hearing on Wednesday there had been 13,500 reports to the complaints line.
Premier Daniel Andrews signs new Belt and Road deal on China trip
Mr Andrews also backed Monash University’s $10 million agreement with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, which a leading cyber security firm last week claimed was tied to the state-backed theft of intellectual property from US rivals.. Mr Andrews also witnessed the signing of an agreement between Monash and COMAC that will see the company invest $10 million on a new research and development centre at Clayton. A senior federal government figure said they had “serious concerns” over Monash’s decision to go ahead with the deal in the wake of the industrial espionage accusations.
Google Claims a Quantum Breakthrough That Could Change Computing
The New York Times
Google said on Wednesday that it had achieved a long-sought breakthrough called “quantum supremacy,” which could allow new kinds of computers to do calculations at speeds that are inconceivable with today’s technology.
White House guts infosec team, 'posturing itself to be compromised' again
An internal White House memo published today by Axios reveals that recent changes to the information operations and security organizations there have left the security team in tumult, with many members headed for the door. And the chief of the White House's computer network defense branch—who wrote the memo after submitting his resignation—warned that the White House was likely headed toward another network compromise and theft of data.
DHS is mulling an order that would force agencies to set up vulnerability disclosure programs
Department of Homeland Security officials could in the coming months issue an order that would require federal civilian agencies to establish vulnerability disclosure programs that allow independent researchers to find flaws in agency websites and software applications, multiple officials told CyberScoop.
Comcast Is Lobbying Against Encryption That Could Prevent it From Learning Your Browsing History
Motherboard has obtained a leaked presentation internet service providers are using to try and lobby lawmakers against a form of encrypted browsing data.
Rethinking Encryption Lawfare—Jim Baker, former general counsel for the FBI, supporting strong and widely available encryption.
Mark Zuckerberg Tries to Convince Skeptical Congress on Libra, Privacy
Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg struggled to convince Congress of the merits of the company’s plans for a cryptocurrency in light of all the other challenges the company has failed to solve. From the start of Zuckerberg’s testimony to the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday, lawmakers made it clear that they weren’t just asking about the digital currency known as Libra, but about whether the 35-year-old executive should be trusted with the tremendous power his company has amassed over 2.7 billion global users of Facebook products.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasia Cortez grills Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Cambridge Analytica and campaign ads.
Combatting China’s Encroaching Influence in Taiwan: Interview with Karen Yu
We know that infiltration work can come from a third country besides China and Taiwan. Cyber footprints can easily be hidden, for example, via IP change. This is something that can’t be tracked under the Cross-strait Act we have. For example, China has the Alumni Association of the Huangpu Military Academy, which has chapters globally. It has been recruiting Taiwanese members via the US chapter. We know that this organization is likely a part of an influence operations because their constitution called for the unification of China.
BBC News launches 'dark web' Tor mirror
The BBC has made its international news website available via Tor, in a bid to thwart censorship attempts.
Maybe It's Not YouTube's Algorithm That Radicalizes People
YouTube is the biggest social media platform in the country, and, perhaps, the most misunderstood. Over the past few years, the Google-owned platform has become a media powerhouse where political discussion is dominated by right-wing channels offering an ideological alternative to established news outlets. And, according to new research from Penn State University, these channels are far from fringe—they’re the new mainstream, and recently surpassed the big three US cable news networks in terms of viewership.
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.