NEW REPORT: Covid-19 attracts Chinese patriotic troll campaign | FB to label national origin of popular posts | Child sexual abuse images surge during pandemic
This new research highlights the growing significance and impact of Chinese non-state actors on western social media platforms. This new report examines a loosely coordinated pro-China trolling campaign on Twitter in March and April 2020. ASPI ICPC
Facebook said Wednesday it will label posts from popular accounts with their geographic origin in an attempt to curb political misinformation by foreign-based pages that mimic legitimate groups and political parties. The New York Times
With tech companies' moderation efforts constrained by the pandemic, distributors of child sexual exploitation material are growing bolder, using major platforms to try to draw audiences. NBC News
NEW REPORT: Covid-19 attracts patriotic troll campaigns in support of China’s geopolitical interests
This new research highlights the growing significance and impact of Chinese non-state actors on western social media platforms. Across March and April 2020, this loosely coordinated pro-China trolling campaign on Twitter has:
Harassed and mimicked western media outlets
Impersonated Taiwanese users in an effort to undermine Taiwan’s position with the World Health Organisation (WHO)
Spread false information about the Covid-19 outbreak
Joined in pre-existing inauthentic social media campaigns.
Elise Thomas @elisethoma5This week @AlbertYZhang and I took a closer look at a pro-China trolling campaign on Twitter. This is the same campaign which was previously called out by Taiwan's Investigative Bureau for impersonating Taiwanese users. https://t.co/RXzIoaA59a
Pro-China trolls fake accounts to hound foreign media over coronavirus
The Sydney Morning Herald
Patriotic Chinese trolls have been using fake Twitter accounts to hound foreign media companies about their reporting of the coronavirus outbreak. According to an analysis of social media trends released on Thursday by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a network of bloggers operating independently of the Chinese government have targeted outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, CNN, BBC and the US government-funded non-profit Radio Free Asia with a barrage of criticism and fake news
Alex Joske, ASPI ICPC Analyst, talks to ABC Radio about Australia's push to strengthen the WHO and investigate COVID-19's origins. Listen here.
Publication Launch - Weaponised deep fakes: national security and democracy
ASPI's International Cyber Policy Centre warmly invites you to a webinar for the launch of ASPI's newest publication - Weaponised deep fakes: national security and democracy.
When: 12:00pm-1:00pm, Wednesday 29 April 2020
Where: Online, register via the link below
Deep fake technology allows cyber criminals, political activists, and nation-states to quickly create cheap, realistic forgeries. They have the ability to enhance cyber attacks, accelerate the spread of propaganda and disinformation online, and exacerbate declining trust in democratic institutions.
Join the authors of this new report, ASPI's Hannah Smith and Katherine Mansted, of ANU's National Security College, in a discussion, moderated by Danielle Cave, about the deep fake landscape, how this technology can be weaponised and what can be done to mitigate its impact.
Facebook to Label National Origin of Popular Posts
The New York Times
Facebook said Wednesday it will label posts from popular accounts with their geographic origin in an attempt to curb political misinformation by foreign-based pages that mimic legitimate groups and political parties.
Child sexual abuse images and online exploitation surge during pandemic
With tech companies' moderation efforts constrained by the pandemic, distributors of child sexual exploitation material are growing bolder, using major platforms to try to draw audiences.
World Leaders on Facebook 2020 - Twiplomacy
The coronavirus pandemic of early 2020 has had a profoundly transformative impact on how world leaders use digital channels. As the virus spread around the world, leaders wasted no time to engage on social media.
Christchurch laws 'don't apply' to Eastern Freeway crash images on Facebook
The Sydney Morning Herald
Experts in internet regulation are calling for laws designed to restrict abhorrent content online introduced after the Christchurch massacre to be further tightened after images of the Eastern Freeway crash were posted to Facebook.
NSA/CSS @NSAGovMalicious cyber actors are actively using web shells in their intrusion campaigns. Protect your networks—apply the mitigations listed in the @NSAGov and @ASDGovAu #Cybersecurity Information Sheet found here: https://t.co/5BGbm1Ewy0 https://t.co/6BUf9UV2t1
Cyber and information warfare - MAJGEN Marcus Thompson AM, Department of Defence
Major General Marcus Thompson AM has been the head of the information warfare division at the Department of Defence since its establishment in 2017.
Submissions open for DFAT’s next strategy on international cyber and technology policy interests
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has called on industry, NGOs, civil society, academia and individuals to have their say on Australia’s first Cyber and Critical Technology International Engagement Strategy. Due by June 16, the submissions will form part of a broader program of consultation, with the department to establish an expert advisory panel.
Wuhan’s Labs hacked, says Australian online security expert
An Australian cyber security expert says the Wuhan Labs in China have been hacked in what appears to be a deliberate attack on health organisations. “I’ve had credible sources tell me that people have used the credentials that were leaked on Twitter and Facebook to access the labs”, says Robert Potter, CEO and founder of online security firm Internet 2.0, in an interview with The Australian.
UK government urged to ban import of Chinese cotton 'made using Uighur forced labour'
Named in submission of evidence to HMRC are some of UK's best-known high street brands, including Ikea, H&M, Muji and Uniqlo.
Beyond Espionage: IP Theft, Talent Programs, and Cyber Conflict with China, with James Mulvenon
Harvard Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies
This webinar is part of the Critical Issues Confronting China Lecture Series at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University. The series is hosted by Professor Ezra F. Vogel and Dr. William Overholt.
Amazon Scooped Up Data From Its Own Sellers to Launch Competing Products
The Wall Street Journal
Contrary to assertions to Congress, employees often consulted sales information on third-party vendors when developing private-label merchandise. “We knew we shouldn’t” said one former employee who accessed such data.
Want to Find a Misinformed Public? Facebook’s Already Done It
While vowing to police COVID-19 misinformation on its platform, Facebook let advertisers target users interested in “pseudoscience”.
Google ditched tipping feature for donating money to sites
Leaked images obtained by TechCrunch reveal that Google considered and designed a feature that would let people donate money to websites to help support news publishers, bloggers and musicians. But Google scrapped the idea and chose not to build out the product.
Inside WhatsApp’s Retreat on Ads
After more than a year of preparation, WhatsApp was finally close to flipping the switch on advertising, kick-starting a plan to generate billions of dollars a year in revenue from one of Facebook’s crown jewels, which it had acquired for $22 billion six years earlier.
New HHS spokesman made racist comments about Chinese people in now-deleted tweets
@KFILE @natemcdermott @emsteck
The new spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services in a series of now-deleted tweets made racist and derogatory comments about Chinese people, said Democrats wanted the coronavirus to kill millions of people and accused the media of intentionally creating panic around the pandemic to hurt President Donald Trump.
A Self-Proclaimed "Boogaloo Boy" Was Arrested After Allegedly Livestreaming His Hunt To Kill A Police Officer
A meme about an impending second Civil War has spawned "boogaloo" Facebook and Instagram groups that boast tens of thousands of followers.
An ESPN Commercial Hints at Advertising’s Deepfake Future
The New York Times
With the pandemic having shut down production, companies are asking ad agencies to create commercials made up of digitally altered footage.
Sign up for ASPI’s Publication Launch - ‘Weaponised deep fakes: national security and democracy’ here.
Vietnam says accusations it hacked China for virus information 'baseless'
A report which said Vietnamese government-linked hackers had attempted to break into Chinese state organisations at the centre of Beijing’s effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak is “baseless”, Vietnam’s foreign ministry said on Thursday.
Gender and Women in Cyber
Why gender matters in international cyber security
Reaching Critical Will
Allison Pytlak and Deborah Brown
Gender matters in international cyber security. It shapes and influences our online behaviour; determines access and power; and is a factor in vulnerability. As a result, malicious cyber operations can differently impact people based on their gender identity or expression.
Technology will unite the post-virus world order
Australian Financial Review
Heather Smith and Allan Gyngell
International bureaucracies with large centralised headquarters are past their use-by date. Global institutions fit for the 21st century require a networked grid of countries working together.
Charlie Warzel on the Pandemic Internet
The Lawfare Podcast
On this episode of Lawfare’s Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Kate Klonick and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Charlie Warzel, an opinion writer at large at the New York Times. They talked about what the COVID-19 pandemic shows us about the role of big tech companies and how the spread of a deadly disease in the midst of a polarized information environment may be a worst-case scenario for disinformation.
White-Hat Hackers Help 'Fold' COVID-19 Proteins
A grassroots effort provides scientists with computing power to help simulate the novel coronavirus' proteins and come up with therapeutic solutions for the disease.
Choosing the right video conferencing tool for the job
Freedom of the Press
Video conferencing tools like Zoom are a core part of how we get our work done. Learn about tradeoffs in security and practicality for several video chat tools.
AI can distinguish between bots and humans based on Twitter activity
Artificial intelligence is being used to spot the difference between human users and fake accounts on Twitter. Emilio Ferrara at the University of Southern California and his colleagues have trained an AI to detect bots on Twitter based on differences in patterns of activity between real and fake accounts.
Digitizing the dollar in the age of COVID-19
During the first COVID-19 stimulus debate in late March, the US Congress discussed creating a digital dollar regulated by the Federal Reserve to increase the speed of stimulus payments to US households. Senior Congressional leaders promoted the ambitious idea of a centralized digital currency and “digital dollar wallets,” which could be utilized particularly by Americans who do not have access to banks for direct deposit and check cashing purposes. While Congress did not end up doing this, the growing discussion around it is a noteworthy development for the future of digital currencies.