Iran's secret cyber files | Tencent's WeChat suspends new user registration for security compliance | Indonesia's BRI Life probes reported data leak of 2 million users
Classified documents, allegedly from Iran, reveal secret research into how a cyber attack could be used to sink a cargo ship or blow up a fuel pump at a petrol station. The internal files, obtained by Sky News, also include information on satellite communication devices used by the global shipping industry as well as a computer-based system that controls things like lights, heating and ventilation in smart buildings across the world. Sky News
Tencent's WeChat has temporarily suspended registration of new users in mainland China as it undergoes a technical upgrade "to align with relevant laws and regulations", China's dominant instant messaging platform said on Tuesday. Reuters
BRI Life, the insurance arm of Indonesia's Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), said on Tuesday it was investigating claims that the personal details of over two million of its customers had been advertised for sale by unidentified hackers. Reuters
Who’s behind Australia’s anti-lockdown protests? The German conspiracy group driving marches
Christopher Knaus Michael McGowan
Ariel Bogle, an analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre, is investigating social media activity in the lead-up to Saturday’s protests. Her preliminary work suggests accounts affiliated with Worldwide Demonstration continue to spread information about the rallies internationally across a range of platforms. Bogle said questions remained about the links Worldwide Demonstration has in Australia and the manner in which its content and message was adapted and shared by local groups to suit the Australian context. “I’d say broadly we need to look more into it, but it has spread through the Australian context via a lot of the groups that were involved in previous demonstrations,” she said. “But it has moved into a broader community via a range of mechanisms, but in particular through niche influencers who speak to a specific community.”
New Zealand buying more from Chinese region linked to forced labour
It is impossible to confirm whether the goods are produced using forced labour, but commentators say much of what is produced in the agricultural region is thought to in some way be connected to forced labour. “Officials should be keeping an eye on goods coming directly from Xinjiang because there is a higher degree of likelihood it will be associated with some part of the oppressive architecture there,” said James Leibold, a senior fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. “We need to do a lot more to make sure our supply chains are clean to things like forced labour.” He added that because Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps produces a lot of the agricultural products that are then exported from the region this increases concerns. The US placed sanctions on this company citing human rights abuses against the Uyghur.
A Big Tech group tried to redefine terrorism. It got messy.
An interview with Erin Saltman, director of programming at the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, about the group’s painstaking efforts to redefine what constitutes terrorism online.
Instagram's new protections for teens come as experts say tween venture poses big risks
Instagram has introduced protections for its teenage users to default young people into private accounts and make it harder for "suspicious" adults to make unwanted contact, the company announced Tuesday.
Thousands of intelligence information requests unanswered by the National Archives
2CC Talking Canberra
More than 20,000 requests for records from Australia's intelligence agencies are currently pending at the National Archives, with many waiting more than five years for requests to be processed.
Undersea cables connect Australia to the Pacific and beyond, but there are concerns China is trying to tap in
Australia is trying to push China out of a telecommunications deal in the Pacific. There's a similar story in undersea cables but experts say the efforts may be too little, too late.
Tencent's WeChat suspends new user registration for security compliance
Tencent's (0700.HK) WeChat has temporarily suspended registration of new users in mainland China as it undergoes a technical upgrade "to align with relevant laws and regulations", China's dominant instant messaging platform said on Tuesday.
Tencent’s WeChat suspends new user registration in China to comply with ‘relevant laws and regulations’
Tencent’s WeChat said on Tuesday it is temporarily suspending registration of new users in China as it works to comply with “relevant laws and regulations,” the latest Chinese firm to face regulatory scrutiny in the world’s largest internet market.
Chinese tech stocks sink as regulation fears hit Tencent
Chinese tech stocks plunged for a third day as investor fears mounted over a broadening regulatory crackdown, with shares of Tencent falling the most in a decade after the internet group halted registrations on its flagship app.
The China Model: What the Country’s Tech Crackdown Is Really About
The government’s clampdown signals a new era of harsher oversight that companies won’t be able to avoid by registering in the Caymans or hiring in California. The world’s two largest economies seem headed down different paths as they grapple with the sprawling power that private tech companies have amassed.
China’s Tech Regulator Orders Companies to Fix Anticompetitive, Security Issues
The Wall Street Journal
China’s main technology-sector regulator ordered the country’s internet giants to fix certain anticompetitive practices and data security threats, building on a regulatory campaign to reform how China’s largest tech companies operate. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which oversees China’s telecommunication and industry policies, said Monday that its new six-month rectification program was aimed at correcting a range of industry issues, including disrupting market order, infringing on users’ rights, mishandling user data and violating other regulations.
Cryptocurrency exchange operators Huobi, OKCoin to close Beijing subsidiaries amid China’s crackdown
South China Morning Post
The operators of cryptocurrency exchanges Huobi and OKCoin are closing their respective subsidiaries in Beijing, dealing another blow to investors in bitcoin and other digital tokens in mainland China amid the latest crackdown on this sector.
Uyghurs and Tibetans locked out of Airbnb in China's latest crackdown on ethnic minorities
For Uyghurs, travelling domestically can require getting approval from the police, while travelling abroad has landed some in detention.
Lawmakers want Pentagon to map supply chain risks, cut China products
A bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to require the Pentagon in the upcoming defense policy bill to get a better handle on who sells the military critical technologies to reduce reliance Chinese-sourced products.
Justice Department officials urge Congress to pass ransomware notification law
U.S. Justice Department officials came out in strong support of legislation requiring companies to report ransomware attacks and other severe data breaches to federal authorities.
The Cyber Apocalypse Never Came. Here’s What We Got Instead.
What we got was neither the unbridled promise of digital cooperation nor a fiery cyber apocalypse. Instead, today’s cyber reality seems simultaneously less scary and more of a hot mess—a series of more frequent, less consequential attacks that add up not to a massive Hollywood disaster but rather to a vaguer sense of vulnerability. This can make it hard to understand what’s going on and how bad it really is. Are all these high-visibility cyber events more of the same, or are we living through a new era of cyber warfare?
During Latest Exchange, China Presents US With 2 Lists of Grievances
China also urged the United States to stop suppressing Chinese enterprises, stop harassing Chinese students, stop suppressing the Confucius Institutes, revoke the registration of Chinese media outlets as “foreign agents” or “foreign missions”, and revoke the extradition request for Meng Wanzhou [the CFO of Huawei, who was detained in Vancouver, Canada in December 2018].
‘It Failed Miserably’: After Wargaming Loss, Joint Chiefs Are Overhauling How the US Military Will Fight
Without overstating the issue, it failed miserably. An aggressive red team that had been studying the United States for the last 20 years just ran rings around us. They knew exactly what we're going to do before we did it,” Hyten told an audience Monday at the launch of the Emerging Technologies Institute, an effort by the National Defense Industrial Association industry group to speed military modernization.
Accused CIA leaker Joshua Schulte allowed to represent himself at next Vault 7 trial
A U.S. judge ruled Monday that a former CIA software engineer accused of providing classified information to WikiLeaks will be allowed to represent himself at his next trial.
Intel Sets Plan to Again Become World’s Premier Chip Company
The Wall Street Journal
The race is on at Intel Corp. as the semiconductor giant pledges to return to the top of its game, committing to produce the world’s best chips within four years. To get there, Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger laid out a plan Monday for the company to introduce at least a new central processing unit—the brains of the modern computer—every year between 2021 and 2025. Each is expected to be based on transistor technology more advanced than the last.
Intel to build Qualcomm chips, aims to catch foundry rivals by 2025
Intel Corp said on Monday its factories will start building Qualcomm Inc chips and laid out a roadmap to expand its new foundry business to catch rivals such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd by 2025. Amazon Inc will be another new customer for the foundry chip business, said Intel, which for decades held the lead in technology for manufacturing the smallest, fastest computing chips.
Facebook’s Next Target: The Religious Experience
The New York Times
Now, after the coronavirus pandemic pushed religious groups to explore new ways to operate, Facebook sees even greater strategic opportunity to draw highly engaged users onto its platform. The company aims to become the virtual home for religious community, and wants churches, mosques, synagogues and others to embed their religious life into its platform, from hosting worship services and socializing more casually to soliciting money. It is developing new products, including audio and prayer sharing, aimed at faith groups.
People are more anti-vaccine if they get their covid news from Facebook than from Fox News, data shows
The Washington Post
The White House has been sharply critical of how social media has helped circulate misinformation about coronavirus vaccines. President Biden put it bluntly when he said, “They’re killing people.” The day after Biden’s statement, Facebook posted a blog entry asserting that it isn’t responsible for U.S. vaccination rates leveling off. The company emphasized that, in a large survey by Carnegie Mellon, supported by Facebook, 85 percent of Facebook users reported being vaccinated or wanting to be vaccinated.
Ex-EBay Security Manager Gets 1 1/2 Years for Cyberstalking
The first of five former eBay Inc. employees who were convicted of running an elaborate cyberstalking conspiracy against a couple who put out an e-commerce newsletter was sentenced to 1 1/2 years in prison for his role in the plot.
FTC official warns of seizing algorithms 'juiced by ill-gotten data'
The chief technologist of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission told a conference on Tuesday that the agency envisions forcing companies that engage in illegal data uses to "not just disgorge data and money,"" but also ""algorithms that were juiced by ill-gotten data."
Indonesia's BRI Life probes reported data leak of 2 million users
BRI Life, the insurance arm of Indonesia's Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) (BBRI.JK), said on Tuesday it was investigating claims that the personal details of over two million of its customers had been advertised for sale by unidentified hackers.
US defence chief Lloyd Austin meets Ng Eng Hen; both reaffirm defence ties
The Straits Times
Lim Min Zhang
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin met Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen in Singapore on Tuesday (July 27), as both leaders reaffirmed defence ties and expressed hope for further cooperation in areas such as cyber defence and strategic communications.
South and Central Asia
Letter from Delhi: Trolls will enforce India’s new media censorship laws
Modi’s laws are tailor-made for the modern age of permanent outrage and his ministers’ preference to let mobs — both online and offline — do their dirty work for them. The heart of the new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 lies in a seemingly innocuous “grievance redressal mechanism,” via which anyone offended by any piece of online news can lodge a complaint with the relevant news organization.
Pegasus spyware owner Novalpina to be liquidated after failure to resolve internal bust-up
The London-headquartered private equity firm is to be wound up following a months-long dispute between its three principals and controversy over its ownership of the surveillance technology provider NSO Group, Sky News learns.
Big fines can change Big Tech, says French competition chief
Isabelle De Silva’s comments come as slow pace of antitrust probes frustrates European regulators.
Iran's secret cyber files on how cargo ships and petrol stations could be attacked
Classified documents, allegedly from Iran, reveal secret research into how a cyber attack could be used to sink a cargo ship or blow up a fuel pump at a petrol station.
Grayzone's genocide denial: Meet the U.S. authoritarian left's new neo-fascist allies
Alexander Reid Ross
An ‘academic institute’ tied to an antisemitic Italian ‘Nazi-Maoist’ linked to Iran has released a report denying China’s atrocities against the Uyghurs. It’s been loudly welcomed by America's conspiracy theory-riven, autocrat-loving, ‘anti-imperialist’ left... An Australian think tank recently concluded that, "The consistent amplification of The Grayzone by Chinese state media, suggests that this is coordinated targeting of an audience that the CCP assesses to be vulnerable to its counter-messaging on Xinjiang."
South Africa Port Operator Declares Force Majeure Over Cyber Attack
Transnet SOC Ltd., South Africa’s state-owned ports and freight-rail company, declared force majeure at the country’s key container terminals due to disruptions caused by a July 22 cyberattack.
Clubhouse Opens Its Doors. Is Anyone Rushing to Get In?
Just a few days after ditching its invite-only status, the audio chat app had fewer than 500,000 new downloads.
GitHub offers open source developers legal counsel to combat DMCA abuse
GitHub has announced a partnership with the Stanford Law School to support developers facing takedown requests related to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Who Will Pay To Protect Tech Giants From Rising Seas?
Coastal cities need billions of dollars to build defenses against sea level rise. Tensions are growing over where that funding will come from: taxpayers or private companies with waterfront property?
Overcoming the vulnerabilities of digital transformation
This year’s ‘Cyber’ conference explores the accelerated digital transformation globally and the challenges it creates for effective cyber governance and security. Join an international audience of policymakers, senior business leaders, intergovernmental and multilateral organizations and other experts to engage in discussion over two days. With a focus on interactivity, key features in the virtual environment include 1:1 networking, polling, Q&A with speakers and live analysis of results. 11 October 2021 TO 12 October 2021 — 1:00PM TO 4:00PM
Hybrid CoE Research Report 2: Effective state practices against disinformation: Four country case studies - Hybrid CoE - The European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats
Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer
This Hybrid CoE Research Report looks at what liberal democracies can propose to counter disinformation. It uses case studies from Sweden, Canada, the United Kingdom, and France.
Innovation with Allies: Practical Paths Forward
James Andrew Lewis Nicholas David Wright Geraint Rees
Cooperation between democratic allies and partners is crucial, and so is the imperative to build science and innovation, but this raises a question: How can democracies practically build science and innovation with allies and partners? China’s emergence as a peer-innovator makes this question urgent. This commentary offers practical paths forward for the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—the “Five Eyes” nations, not just their intelligence sharing apparatus—in key areas for national security like artificial intelligence (AI) and genetics.
ICPC Deputy Director – 12 month parental leave cover
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) is currently recruiting for a one-year parental leave cover for its Deputy Director position. This is an exceptional opportunity for a talented and experienced individual to contribute to the work of Australia's leading think-tank on cyber, information, technology and other national security issues in a unique leadership role.
ICPC Senior Analyst & Program Manager
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) potentially has an outstanding opportunity for a proactive, efficient and talented senior analyst & program manager to join its centre..We are looking for a senior individual with a minimum of 10-15 years of demonstrated relevant work experience who possesses excellent project management, stakeholder engagement and staff management skills. They must also possess strong knowledge - either as a generalist or a specialist - of some of the topics ICPC works across, and feel comfortable engaging with politicians, senior policymakers, business representatives and preferably also the media.
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.