Mike Pompeo blasts China's 'coercion' of Australia after cyber-attack | Life in Myanmar under world's longest internet shutdown | Did TikTokers and Kpop fans foil Trump’s Tulsa rally? It’s complicated

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  • The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has said he raised China’s “coercion” of Australia during a frank, six-hour meeting with China’s top diplomat in Hawaii. It comes as experts say some of the same computer code and tactics used in cyber-attacks revealed by the Australia prime minister, Scott Morrison, on Friday were also used in a February 2019 hack into Parliament House, which was also blamed on China. The Guardian.

  • The government-ordered shutdown in two of Myanmar’s poorest states - Rakhine and neighbouring Chin - home to about a million people, is a year old on Sunday. Justified on emergency grounds amid a growing insurgency, it is the longest internet blackout in the world, rights groups say. Reuters.

  • President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa on Saturday was greeted by his supporters with a bit of a whimper. Though his campaign claimed it received more than a million requests for tickets and prepared for arena overflow, fewer than 6,500 supporters came to cheer him on. And, as they tell it, TikTokers and K-pop fans are responsible for the discrepancy. Washington Post.

ASPI ICPC

Australia Is Being Cyberattacked by State Actor, Prime Minister Says
WSJ
Senior analyst Tom Uren stated “Those are all groups that the Chinese have hacked in the past, and for all of those to be ongoing at the same time means it’s a country with a large capability.” Mr. Uren said the attackers were likely seeking information that could give their country a strategic advantage—perhaps even information about which coronavirus vaccines are most promising.

China cyber attack claims are 'laughable nonsense', Australian Strategic Policy Institute says
ABC
An Australian defence think tank has rubbished Chinese claims that it is the only organisation suggesting China is behind cyber attacks on Australia.

Prime Minister's message aimed squarely at China: security analyst
Canberra Times
Prime Minister Scott Morrison's high-profile announcement of a cyber attack was chiefly about sending a message to China, a senior analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute believes.

China, India blame each other for border clash as death toll remains unknown
ABC
Nathan Ruser, a researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said satellite imagery showed brewing tensions. "We've seen both sides set up military positions a lot closer to the demarcation line, and a lot closer to each other," he told the ABC.

Foreign actors targeted Facebook users during Australian 2019 election, thinktank finds
The Guardian
Ahead of public hearings on Monday scheduled by the Senate’s select committee on foreign interference through social media, a submission from ASPI says it has found influence operations relating to Indonesia’s West Papua independence movement, Kashmir, and People’s Republic of China operations targeted at various political dissidents and the anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong.

Some Facebook groups created to protest lockdowns are now hotbeds for misinformation
CNN
Now, instead of focusing on calls to end the lockdowns, many of these groups are increasingly becoming hotbeds of conspiracy theories and misinformation for other issues, according to researchers who track their activities.. "It's more of a conduit," said Elise Thomas, a researcher with the International Cyber Policy Centre at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, "down the path of radicalization to more and more extreme groups and theories."

World

Oracle’s BlueKai tracks you across the web. That data spilled online
Tech Crunch
Tech giant Oracle is one of a few companies in Silicon Valley that has near-perfected the art of tracking people across the internet. The company has spent a decade and billions of dollars buying startups to build its very own panopticon of users’ web browsing data.

Australia

Mike Pompeo blasts China's 'coercion' of Australia as cyber-attack likened to Parliament House hack
The Guardian
The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has said he raised China’s “coercion” of Australia during a frank, six-hour meeting with China’s top diplomat in Hawaii.

Why China is being blamed for cyber attacks on Australia, and what its hackers might be looking for
ABC
After the Government's announcement today of malicious state-backed cyber activity directed at Australia, some have pointed the finger at China. But why and how can we be sure?

Australian government departments are routinely audited for cyber readiness. Most fail
ABC
Government agencies, departments and private companies that have fallen victim to the cyber attack that made headlines yesterday failed to apply routine software updates, according to the Federal Government's cyber security agency.

NSW government was warned over cyber security weaknesses
SMH
The NSW government was warned more than six months ago to urgently improve its cyber security in a report that found almost half of its agencies had no recommended strategies in place to prevent attacks.

Scott Morrison's 'urgent' hacking warning shot shows Australia won't shy away from China's cyber attacks
ABC
In this space, the non-Five Eyes nations known to have such capability include Russia, China, Israel and North Korea. Morrison didn't name China, but government sources quickly confirmed that Beijing's large teams of cyber intruders were being blamed by Australian agencies.

Scams rise as hackers prey in disasters
The Australian
Government agencies and departments vulnerable to targeted cyber attacks are urgently ramping up defence strategies, as new data from the competition watchdog reveals hacking attacks have contributed to Australians losing more than $634m in scams.

Victoria police distances itself from controversial facial recognition firm Clearview AI
The Guardian
Victoria police is distancing itself from the controversial facial recognition firm Clearview AI, after documents released under freedom of information exposed the force’s use of the technology.

China

Hong Kong Residents Are Erasing Their Own Internet Histories Before China's Big Crackdown
Vice
WhatsApp groups across the city are being scrubbed and social media posts are being erased. Wong He, a Hong Kong TV star — and former policeman — even posted a tutorial on YouTube about how to delete your Facebook account, and it's been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. The reason for all this sudden self-censorship? The impending national security law that Beijing is about to impose on Hong Kong.

USA

FBI trawled Facebook to arrest protesters for inciting riots, court records show
NBC News
Avery is one of four known people across the United States indicted on charges of incitement to riot solely on the basis of social media posts, according to federal court records.. Taken together, the cases offer some insight into how federal law enforcement continues to monitor online speech related to social movements and pursue what legal experts say is a fairly aggressive approach to prosecution

We're In. We're Out': The North Face becomes the first major company to boycott Facebook as the calls for advertisers to walk out of the platform in July intensify
Business Insider
The North Face has become the first major brand to boycott Facebook on the heels of mounting pressure from civil-rights organisations over the platform’s content-moderation policies and handling of hate speech in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.

Did TikTokers and K-pop fans foil Trump’s Tulsa rally? It’s complicated.
Washington Post
President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa on Saturday was greeted by his supporters with a bit of a whimper. Though his campaign claimed it received more than a million requests for tickets and prepared for arena overflow, fewer than 6,500 supporters came to cheer him on. And, as they tell it, TikTokers and K-pop fans are responsible for the discrepancy.

The CIA's cyber intelligence unit had terrible cybersecurity, inquiry finds
Salon
A government inquiry concluded that "woefully lax" security practices at the Central Intelligence Agency played a major role in a massive 2017 leak of confidential documents, most of which ended up appearing on WikiLeaks. The leaks included information about the agency's top-secret hacking tools.

Asia

Taiwan, Sweden to jointly invest NT$250 million in tech research
Focus Taiwan
Taiwan and Sweden will jointly invest about NT$250 million (US$8.45 million) in the form of grants to institutions in both countries supporting six proposals in the development of information communications, bio-engineering and materials science, Taiwan's Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) said Thursday.

Japan rolls out Microsoft-developed COVID-19 contact tracing app
The Verge
Japan’s government today released its coronavirus contact tracing app for iOS and Android. The apps rely on Apple and Google’s co-developed exposure notification platform, using Bluetooth to help determine whether users have come into close contact with others who have tested positive for COVID-19.

‘We lost our sight’: Life in Myanmar under world's longest internet shutdown
Reuters
The government-ordered shutdown in two of Myanmar’s poorest states - Rakhine and neighbouring Chin - home to about a million people, is a year old on Sunday. Justified on emergency grounds amid a growing insurgency, it is the longest internet blackout in the world, rights groups say.


UK

How Huawei got a foothold in a top UK research site
The Telegraph
The Chinese company bought a British fibre-optics champion from a government agency in 2012 – and has been expanding ever since

UK tells telcos to stockpile Huawei gear in face of U.S. sanctions: letter
Reuters
British security officials have told UK telecom operators to ensure they have adequate stockpiles of Huawei equipment due to fears that new U.S. sanctions will disrupt the Chinese firm’s ability to maintain critical supplies, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

Katie Hopkins permanently removed from Twitter
The Guardian
The controversial rightwing commentator Katie Hopkins has had her Twitter account permanently suspended for violating the platform’s “hateful conduct” policy.

Coronavirus: What went wrong with the UK's contact tracing app?
BBC
After months of work, the UK has ditched the way its coronavirus-tracing app works, prompting a blame game between the government and two of the world's biggest tech firms. So what went wrong?

Europe

Texts Claim Hack of Encrypted Phone Company Used by Hitmen
Vice
A series of text messages allegedly sent to users of Encrochat, a company which sells custom encrypted phones including to serious organized criminals, claim that law enforcement agencies have taken over some of the company's infrastructure.

Huawei’s courtship of Moscow leaves west in the cold
FT
So the Kremlin’s rationale for selecting Huawei is straightforward: “We’re either going to be bugged by the US or by China, so we need to choose the lesser evil,” as one government insider told me. “Since the Americans are sanctioning us while the Chinese are helping us, the choice is obvious.”

Americas

China charges 2 Canadians with spying in Huawei-linked case
CBC
Chinese prosecutors charged two detained Canadians with spying Friday in an apparent bid to step up pressure on Canada to drop a U.S. extradition request for a Huawei executive under house arrest in Vancouver.

Misc.

How Platforms Can Prevent Misinformation Like #dcblackout
Lawfare
The #dcblackout incident offers a warning for the months to come. The 2020 election looms over a highly partisan political environment with weakened institutions and a reduced number of journalists—all concerning factors for a truthful public discourse and healthy democracy. Years of investment by social media companies have taken down the networks of accounts used by organized disinformation campaigns in 2016, but propagandists can still hijack developing political conversations with ease.

Events

ASPI Webinar: UN Cyber Negotiations - What they mean for Australian diplomacy
ASPI
ASPI warmly invites you to a webinar on 'UN Cyber Negotiations - What they mean for Australian diplomacy'. Join ASPI’s Bart Hogeveen in conversation with Johanna Weaver, Special Adviser to Australia's Ambassador for Cyber Affairs, on how states can be restrained from conducting, condoning, and sponsoring cyber operations that destabilise international peace and security, and what states can do to encourage a safe, secure and resilient internet ecosystem at home.