NEW ASPI ICPC REPORT: Covid-19 disinformation and social media manipulation trends | Security lapse exposed Clearview AI source code | Liechtenstein rolls out radical Covid-19 bracelet programme
NEW ASPI ICPC REPORT: A range of actors are manipulating the information environment to exploit the Covid-19 crisis for strategic gain. ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre is tracking many of these state and non-state actors online and will occasionally publish investigative data-driven reporting that will focus on the use of disinformation, propaganda, extremist narratives and conspiracy theories. This report includes three case studies that feature China, Taiwan, Russia and Africa. ASPI ICPC
Clearview, the controversial facial recognition startup allows its law enforcement users to take a picture of a person, upload it and match it against its alleged database of 3 billion images, which the company scraped from public social media profiles. But for a time, a misconfigured server exposed the company’s internal files, apps and source code for anyone on the internet to find. TechCrunch
The principality of Liechtenstein is piloting a programme to fit its citizens with biometric bracelets in a radical new drive to track the emergence of potential cases of Covid-19 in real-time. Financial Times
Covid-19 disinformation and social media manipulation trends
A range of actors are manipulating the information environment to exploit the Covid-19 crisis for strategic gain. ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre is tracking many of these state and non-state actors online and will occasionally publish investigative data-driven reporting that will focus on the use of disinformation, propaganda, extremist narratives and conspiracy theories. The bulk of ASPI’s data analysis uses our in-house Influence Tracker tool—a machine learning and data analytics capability that draws out insights from multi-language social media datasets. This report includes three case studies that feature China, Taiwan, Russia and Africa.
Elements of China’s messaging continue to demonstrate disinformation tactics similar to coordinated and persistent Russian state-sponsored disinformation campaigns and the Chinese state’s efforts to contest the information domain are supported by coordinated, although not necessarily inauthentic, pro-China patriotic trolling.
Russia-aligned disinformation is exploiting the health crisis as it unfolds in Africa to exacerbate tensions with the West.
Russia-linked actors are capitalising on missteps by the west by amplifying them overtly through state-sponsored media outlets and by leveraging a network of Facebook groups previously identified as part of a Russian information operation targeting African countries.
How Coronavirus Is Eroding Privacy
The Wall Street Journal
The Covid-19 pandemic is ushering in a new era of digital surveillance and rewiring the world’s sensibilities about data privacy. Governments are imposing new digital surveillance tools to track and monitor individuals. Many citizens have welcomed tracking technology intended to bolster defenses against the novel coronavirus. Yet some privacy advocates are wary, concerned that governments might not be inclined to unwind such practices after the health emergency has passed.
Security lapse exposed Clearview AI source code
The code repository stored secret keys to the startups' cloud storage buckets.
Scott Morrison Won't Rule Out Australia's Coronavirus Tracing App Becoming Mandatory
One question has been around whether the app itself will be mandatory. On Friday Prime Minister Scott Morrison didn't rule this possibility out. The Prime Minister appeared on Triple M this morning and was asked whether the contact tracing app and travelling with a phone would become mandatory for Australians. While the Prime Minister stressed that this is not something he would want to see happen, he didn't deny the possibility. He referred to the app to an act of national service, likening it to buying war bonds back during WWII.
Australia's COVID-19 trace tracking app still 'weeks away'
Minister Stuart Robert said the app is not surveillance and it is just digitally replicating a manual tracing process.
ASD vetting code on Australia’s future COVID trace app
Government services minister Stuart Robert says Australia’s future COVID-19 contract tracing app is being developed with “very strong cyber assistance” now being provided by national security agencies, as questions around the vague detail of the software continue to swirl.
Government needs public trust to make virus tracking app a success
The Sydney Morning Herald
Cybersecurity and public health experts warn the federal government's coronavirus tracking app won't be effective unless it can convince a large section of the public to sign up to it.
TraceTogether, Singaporean COVID-19 contact tracing and Australian recommendations Melbourne School of Engineering
Hackers ‘capitalising on COVID’
Hackers are trying to capitalise on the COVID-19 pandemic in increasing numbers and companies need to increase their vigilance, according to Cisco Australia and New Zealand's boss Ken Boal.
Australian Cyber Security Centre Issues Guidelines for Home Workers
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, more employees in Australia are opting for self-isolation and choosing to work from home. But there are concerns about these users falling victims to phishing attacks. To protect users, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) issued a new advisory containing tips to reduce the risks of phishing attacks and protect users from cyberattacks. (Read the advisory)
Melbourne 'guy pals' Facebook group shut down after 'revenge porn' and misogynist abuse posted
Material posted in the group allegedly included a video of an underage girl posted without consent and horrific abuse of women.
China is fighting the coronavirus with a digital QR code. Here's how it works
Imagine your daily routine being dependent on a smart phone app. Leaving your home, taking the subway, going to work -- each move, dictated by the color shown on your screen. Green: you're free to proceed. Amber or Red: you're barred from entry.
Wuhan canceled its marathon so China’s runners raced virtually
South China Morning Post
Social distancing means athletes are now competing from home with the help of workout apps and fitness wearables.
Drone-Maker DJI Says It Can’t Access Data Collected Abroad
Issue of data security takes on new significance as more countries deploy drones in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Singapore tops APAC when it comes to cybersecurity readiness
Singapore has one of the most developed digital economies in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, and as such its organizations and communities have long been under threat of cyberattacks. The levels of virtual ammunition the country’s businesses are exposed to has caused the Singaporean government to establish much-needed data protection legislation, a key factor in helping Singapore rank number one in a recent survey titled the Deloitte Cyber Smart Index 2020.
Public Surveillance to Keep Us Healthy and Protect Our Privacy
Glenn S. Gerstell
If the Black Death in 1348 and the Spanish Flu in 1918 accelerated existing but nascent societal trends, what developments will the Covid-19 pandemic jump-start? While some developments will be revealed only retrospectively, one is immediately manifest: public health requirements will force us to decide just how much technology-fueled surveillance we really want.
Coronavirus scientists are big targets for foreign cyber-espionage, FBI says
Nation-state hackers have been running cyber-espionage operations against medical research organizations in the U.S. that are studying the novel coronavirus, according to the FBI.
West must do more to stop China buying up technology: former UK spy chief
The West needs to do more to stop China buying up strategic technology including companies such as British semiconductor chip designer Imagination Technologies, the former head of Britain's MI6 foreign intelligence service said on Thursday.
NHS in standoff with Apple and Google over coronavirus tracing
The NHS is in a standoff with Apple and Google after the two tech firms refused to support the UK’s plans to build an app that alerts users when they have been in contact with someone with coronavirus.
Liechtenstein rolls out radical Covid-19 bracelet programme
The principality of Liechtenstein is piloting a programme to fit its citizens with biometric bracelets in a radical new drive to track the emergence of potential cases of Covid-19 in real time. On Thursday, one in 20 Liechtensteiners will be offered the bracelets, which will send data on vital bodily metrics including skin temperature, breathing rate and heart rate back to a Swiss laboratory for analysis.
Is The Syrian Government Targeting Its People With COVID-19 Android Malware?
The Syrian Electronic Army is back and using COVID-19 as a lure for its Android spyware, a researcher finds.