US charges six Russian agents involved with state-sponsored hacking groups | Russia planned cyber-attack on Tokyo Olympics, says UK | EU countries sound alarm about growing anti-5G movement
The US Department of Justice has unsealed today charges against six GRU officers believed to be members of Sandworm, one of today's most advanced state-sponsored hacking groups. ZDNet
Russian military intelligence services were planning a cyber-attack on the Japanese-hosted Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo this summer in an attempt to disrupt the world’s premier sporting event, the UK National Cyber Security Centre has revealed, disclosing a joint operation with the US intelligence agencies. The Guardian
A growing anti-5G movement is getting in the way of Europe's digital ambitions, 15 capitals warned the EU Commission as they called for a robust strategy to counter concerns about the new technology. Politico
New Think Tank Report Presents Ambitious Agenda for Australia-India Tech Cooperation
A new Australia-India think tank report has put forward an ambitious agenda for bilateral cooperation around five critical technologies. The Canberra-based Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and New Delhi-headquartered Observer Research Foundation (ORF) released its “Critical technologies and the Indo-Pacific: A new India–Australia partnership” report earlier today, coming at a time when regional relationships and international tech cooperation agenda are both being shaped by China’s assertive rise and growing tech clout.
Read more about ASPI and ORF’s work on critical technologies and the Indo-Pacific here.
Coronavirus: fake news factories churning out lies over ‘monkey’ vaccine
Jake Wallis, a disinformation analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the evidence obtained by The Times pointed to a co-ordinated, well-financed disinformation campaign. He said there appeared to be “significant motivation, significant effort and funding to plan the campaign, to target specific audiences, to target specific vulnerabilities”.
Read more about ASPI’s work investigating COVID disinformation here.
Telstra boss to lead industry advisory body on cyber security
The Sydney Morning Herald
Telstra chief executive Andy Penn will lead a new body advising the federal government on how to boost the nation's cyber defences, as it introduces new measures to protect Australia's critical infrastructure from major attacks.
China to issue 10 mln digital yuan in first public test
China’s central bank is issuing 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) worth of digital currency to 50,000 randomly selected consumers in what some see as the country’s first public test of the digital yuan payment system.
Digital yuan rush and OTC crackdown: Blockheads
China’s blockchain industry doesn’t stop, even during China’s week-long National Day holiday. A public test for the digital yuan was announced in Shenzhen, over-the-counter (OTC) traders are facing increasing pressure, and two reports shed some light on the numbers behind China’s vast blockchain industry.
Read ASPI ICPC's paper 'The flipside of China’s central bank digital currency' here.
Xi stresses advancing development of quantum science and technology
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has stressed the importance and urgency of advancing the development of quantum science and technology.
China passes export control law with potential for rare-earths ban
China's top legislature on Saturday passed a law on export control, allowing the government to ban exports of strategic materials and advanced technology to specific foreign companies on its equivalent of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Entity List.. The inclusion of the phrase "and interests" suggests that the law will give the government more leeway to move against those it wants to punish.. Concerns have been raised that rare-earth metals, for which China's market share exceeds 60%, may be included in the restricted items. Such a ban would have broad implications worldwide.
US charges Russian hackers behind NotPetya, KillDisk, OlympicDestroyer attacks
The US Department of Justice has unsealed today charges against six GRU officers believed to be members of Sandworm, one of today's most advanced state-sponsored hacking groups.
US Indicts Sandworm, Russia's Most Destructive Cyberwar Unit
The Department of Justice unsealed charges including computer fraud and conspiracy against six of the hackers who allegedly make up Sandworm, a group also known in the security industry by the names Telebots, Voodoo Bear, and Hades, and confirmed earlier this year to work in Unit 74455 of Russia's GRU military intelligence agency.
As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place
The New York Times
A nationwide operation of 1,300 local sites publishes coverage that is ordered up by Republican groups and corporate P.R. firms.
Huawei Fallout—Game-Changing New China Threat Strikes At Apple And Samsung
Absent a U.S. backtrack, a huge Huawei-shaped hole will open up in next year’s global smartphone sector, a sales game-changer for the industry. A blacklist-induced shortage of chipsets looks set to send Huawei sales plummeting when current stockpiles run down. While this appears to be a stunning opportunity for Apple and Samsung, that’s under threat. China inc. is confident that Huawei’s recipe for success can be replicated and is moving quickly to do so.
Chinese-Americans campaign for Trump on WeChat
Pro-Trump misinformation proliferates on WeChat’s US-based blogs, which are easy to register and generally serve audiences of fewer than 10,000 readers. One first-generation immigrant in his 60s with an engineering PhD took hydroxychloroquine after reading WeChat articles about Mr Trump promoting the drug as a remedy for coronavirus. “WeChat’s official fact-checking initiatives generally do not focus on overseas political news,” said NoMelonGroup, a volunteer group of US-based Chinese diaspora fact-checkers. At the same time, the group said, political disinformation on WeChat is boosted by commercial accounts such as study-abroad blogs, which use fear-provoking headlines to drive clicks, meaning it spreads more quickly than fact-checking articles.
Facebook AI open sources multilingual machine translation model
The model, M2M-100, is trained on 2,200 language directions and can be more accurate because it doesn't use English as a go-between language in translations.
Russia planned cyber-attack on Tokyo Olympics, says UK
Russian military intelligence services were planning a cyber-attack on the Japanese-hosted Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo this summer in an attempt to disrupt the world’s premier sporting event, the UK National Cyber Security Centre has revealed, disclosing a joint operation with the US intelligence agencies.
New Zealand & The Pacific
Australia to set up Pacific Islands security center in Vanuatu
A center focusing on the security concerns of Pacific island nations will start work in Vanuatu next year, Australia said on Monday, hosting analysts and sharing information on issues from maritime risks to human trafficking and disinformation.
Complacency makes Kiwis more vulnerable to cyber attacks
The country needs to be serious about cyber protection as the volume and sophistication of financially-motivated cyber attacks has increased over the past six months, according to CERT NZ.
South and Central Asia
India-Australia security relations: They’ve only just begun
Should India-Australia ties continue to develop at their recent pace, the relationship could yet evolve into one of the most important regional partnerships in the Indo-Pacific.
EU investigates Instagram over handling of children's data
Instagram is being investigated by Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) over its handling of children's personal data on the platform.
EU countries sound alarm about growing anti-5G movement
A growing anti-5G movement is getting in the way of Europe's digital ambitions, 15 capitals warned the EU Commission as they called for a robust strategy to counter concerns about the new technology.
The Trump Administration’s 'Clean Networks Initiative' has no place in European telecommunications policy
Announced in August 2020 by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the so-called Clean Networks Initiative seeks to decouple the United States from all Chinese telecommunications equipment and mobile communications technology, including mobile apps. It also extends to data servers and transmission network infrastructure like undersea cables.
Covid-19 prompts increase in contactless use in Brazil
According to the research, contactless payments made through cards, smartwatches and other mobile devices accounted for about 3% of all payments processed by the company between January and June 2020, compared to 1% in the same period last year.
Iran says one of two cyber attack targets was country's ports
One of the targets of large cyber attacks on two Iranian government institutions this week was the electronic infrastructure of the country's ports, an Iranian news agency reported .
ASPI Webinar: Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy In-Focus
Speakers: Abigail Bradshaw, Marc Ablong and Fergus Hanson
The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the importance of the online world; it is now critically important in managing this pandemic. Yet at the same time, the risks and threats are increasing—in June the Prime Minister warned us that Australia was being targeted by a sophisticated state actor. In this webinar, hear from Abigail Bradshaw CSC, head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre, and Marc Ablong PSM, head of National Resilience and Cyber Security group at Home Affairs, in a discussion moderated by Fergus Hanson, Director of ASPI's International Cyber Policy Centre, about Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020 and how it will be operationalised.
Date & Time: 22 October 2020, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm (AEST).
2020 Cybersecurity Conference
In order to examine how the Cybersecurity Law and the Data Security Draft Law will coexist, and what the long-term impact will be on European companies operating in China, the European Chamber as assembled a distinguished group of government representatives, lawyers, security experts and industry representatives to discuss this topic at its annual Cybersecurity Conference.
Networking: Women speak cyber (brought to you by Palo Alto Networks)
Join this networking event to meet the power women diversifying the Australian cyber security sector. Drop-in for short 1:1 networking sessions, facilitated through the ‘Hopin’ platform, with a range of ‘cyber power women’. Date & Time: 30 October 12:00 pm (AEST)
The Citizen Browser Project—Auditing the Algorithms ofDisinformation
The Markup, a nonprofit newsroom that investigates how the world’s most powerful institutions use technology to reshape society, today announced the development of The Citizen Browser Project—an initiative designed to measure how disinformation travels across social media platforms over time.
Five Keys to a Transatlantic Agenda on China
It has not been a political priority in Europe to take a closer look at supply chains, exports of sensitive technologies and R&D collaborations with China. To engage credibly with Washington, Europe will have to back up its rhetoric and examine the full spectrum of its interactions with China. This does not mean that it needs to follow the US down a drastic decoupling path, but neither can it avert its gaze in the face of growing risks from China’s military-civil fusion strategy and links between new technologies and human rights.
Senior Researcher / Project Lead
ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has an outstanding opportunity for a senior researcher to lead a one-year project looking at leadership networks across Asia. Interviews will start immediately.
Are you a recent graduate wanting to develop your expertise in defence, national and cyber security and strategic policy? Do you want to inform the public and government on critical strategic choices facing Australia and learn what it takes to be a professional strategic analyst? If so, you might be interested in applying for the ASPI Research Internship Program.
Executive Level 1 - Assistant Director, Cyber Policy and Technology (Specialist)
The Cyber Affairs and Critical Technology Branch (CYB) is responsible for implementing Australia’s International Cyber and Critical Technology Engagement Strategy (ICCTES) and Australia’s broader international cyber and critical technology agenda, led by Australia’s Ambassador for Cyber Affairs and Critical Technology. We are seeking enthusiastic and high calibre individuals to fill multiple positions in the Branch.