Articles about Australia

Savannasaurus elliottorum

Two new dinosaurs walked from South America to Australia, via Antarctica

Australian paleo-boffins have revealed two new dinosaurs, Savannasaurus elliottorum and Diamantinasaurus matildae. As detailed in the Nature: Scientific Reports paper New Australian sauropods shed light on Cretaceous dinosaur palaeobiogeography, the dinos are remarkable because they are the first sauropods to be found in …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2016

IBM throws ISP under a bus for Australia's #Censusfail

IBM has blamed a supplier for causing the failure of Australia's online census, which went offline on the very night millions of households were required to describe their disposition. Big Blue's submission (PDF) to Australia's Standing Committees on Economics, which is conducting an Inquiry into the Preparation, …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2016
Riven Media

Security research tool had security problem

Security researchers and the networks they rely on were at risk of breach by the hackers they investigate, thanks to now mitigated man-in-the-middle holes in a popular plugin for analysing debugger OllyDbg. The debugger disassembles binaries, making it a handy way to understand an application's workings without having access …
Darren Pauli, 20 Oct 2016
Snake oil salesman

Kids today are so stupid they fall for security scams more often than greybeards

Millennials are more likely to fall for tech support scams than baby boomers, Microsoft says. The findings are revealed in a recent Microsoft study that saw it poll peeps in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and nine other countries. Redmond's not revealed the number of respondents. Tech support scams take on …
Darren Pauli, 20 Oct 2016
Nerd fail photo via Shutterstock

Australia's IBM-assisted Census fail burned AU$30 MEEELLION

Australia's AU$700k-per-year chief statistician has told a Senate estimates committee that the August 2016 Census crash lopped $30 million off the hoped-for $100 million savings to be had from taking the survey online. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) spent $10 million to have IBM conduct the online Census, but the …
Australian Parliament House Canberra

Australia's new data breach disclosure laws have a rather floppy definition of 'breach'

After years of discussion a draft of Australia's proposed data breach disclosure laws has landed and, to The Register's mind, it leaves a lot of wriggle room for those who would keep breaches secret. The draft Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 (PDF) doesn't make it compulsory to report a breach. “It would …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Oct 2016
A fiber optic cable

Vodafone Australia promises fixed-line broadband over NBN

As widely anticipated, Vodafone's Australian tentacle has announced it's getting into the fixed-line broadband business. The carrier will offer services to those lucky enough to enjoy connection to Australia's national broadband network. The company's canned statement says the services will mean customers are "always …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Oct 2016
Wind turbine, image via Shutterstock

South Australia blacked out by bad bespoke software, not wind farms

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) says wind-powered electricity generation's “intermittency” had nothing to do with the blackouts following South Australia's catastrophic storms in late September. In its ongoing investigation of what caused the “system black” event on 28 September, the AEMO says the storm caused a …
Riven Media

'Dyre' malware re-surfaces as 'TrickBot', targets Australian banks

Malware now targeting Australian users could be based on one of the world's worst banking trojans. Fidelis malware mangler Jason Reaves says the TrickBot malware has strong code similarities to the Dyre trojan, a menace that ripped through Western banks and businesses in the US, the UK, and Australia, inflicting tens of …
Darren Pauli, 18 Oct 2016
NBN Logo

nbn™ says nobody needs gigabit internet, trumpets XG-Fast at 8Gbps anyway

nbn™, the organisation building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has announced trials of fibre-to-the-curb and broadband-over-copper technology XG-fast that hit 8Gbps on 30 metres of copper in lab trials. It's also done tests that produced “5Gbps peak aggregate speed being achieved over 70 metres of …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2016

Drone exercise will transform future naval warfare, says Navy

The Royal Navy’s ongoing drone exercise Unmanned Warrior has been a “transformational opportunity”, Rear Admiral Paul Bennett said this morning. Admiral Bennett, assistant chief of the naval staff for capability, speaking via video link from Scotland, told a press briefing at the Centre for Maritime Intelligence Systems at …
Gareth Corfield, 14 Oct 2016
Photo by Kgbo

Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi you, you're fired: Apple sacks staff secretly snapping shoppers

Apple fired staff from one of its Australian stores this week after they secretly snapped and shared photos of fellow workers and customers. The Brisbane Courier-Mail [paywalled] reports that employees at the city's Carindale mall Apple store were using iGizmos to take pictures of women and sharing the images among themselves …
Iain Thomson, 14 Oct 2016
League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC

British jobs for British people: UK tech rejects PM May’s nativist hiring agenda

Comment “If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what the very word ‘citizenship’ means." So British Prime Minister Theresa May told her party’s conference last week. Home secretary Amber Rudd laid out plans at the conference to make it harder for British employers to hire …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Oct 2016
Group of young people yawning/looking bored. Photo by shutterstock

A robot kitchen? Whatever. Are you stupid enough to fall for this?

Are you the sort of gullible idiot with millions of pounds or dollars to splurge on a “robot kitchen”? No, us neither. Hey, when you have a vaporware “startup” offering something like this, what's reality got to do with it? Moley – for that is this startup's name – is punting a robotic kitchen, which it claims can rival …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Oct 2016
Sony Morpheus prototype VR headset

Virtual reality is actually made of smartphones

The world didn’t pay much attention to the fifth anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death, back on the 5th of October. Perhaps that’s because we believe we’ve all moved on. But that’s less true than we believe, in both some very obvious and very non-obvious ways. First, the obvious: the smartphone is now undeniably the most …
Mark Pesce, 13 Oct 2016
image by Alexander_P

Hackers pop 6000 sites on active 18-month carding bonanza

Hackers have installed skimming scripts on more than 6000 online stores and are adding 85 each day in a wide-scale active operation that may have compromised hundreds of thousands of credit cards. Dutch developer Willem de Groot found the malware infecting stores running vulnerable versions of the Magento ecommerce platform. …
Darren Pauli, 13 Oct 2016
television Test pattern

Bureau of Statistics hides trade data about monitors. Yes, monitors!

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' Confidential Commodities List has gain turned up something odd, this time in the form of restrictions on reporting of trade in “Colour video monitors (excl. cathode-ray tube monitors), whether or not incorporating radio-broadcast receivers”. As we've reported previously, the Confidential …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Oct 2016
Brass photo via Shutterstock

SAP re-positions senior UK cloud brass

SAP is making a number of senior management changes in its cloud business in the UK. Darren Roos, general manager for northern Europe, is taking charge of SAP’s SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud as president. Roos joined SAP in January 2014 from Software AG, where he’d been chief operating officer for EMEA, Asia Pacific and Japan; and …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Oct 2016

Snowden investigator slams leaker-detector background checks

A former top US Government investigator looking into classified document leaks by Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden has criticised the effectiveness of background checks - saying such checks will not prevent further leaks. Keith Lowry, formerly US chief of staff to the deputy under secretary of defense for Human intelligence …
Darren Pauli, 12 Oct 2016
Giant burger

Burger barn put cloud on IT menu, burned out its developers

In Australia fast-food history played out differently to the rest of the world and the nation no longer has Burger King. So when you want a Whopper down under you head to a chain called “Hungry Jack's” that is pretty much a BK clone. We mention the burger barn because Vulture South today encountered its CIO Bruce Nolte, who …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Oct 2016

Oz infosec spooks: ease back on the “cybers”, this is serious

Sensationalist language is making it hard to educate businesses and the public about infosec risks*, according to the Australian Cyber Security Centre's 2016 threat report. While every ICMP ping is treated as an attack by some, the report says unequivocally: “Australia still has not been subjected to malicious cyber activity …

Second hacking group targets SWIFT-connected banks

A second group of hackers – Odinaff – has broken into the SWIFT system, the fulcrum of the global financial payments system. Odinaff were found to be using the same approach as those who stole $81m from the Bangladesh central bank earlier this year. Attacks involving the Odinaff trojan and associated tools appear to have …
John Leyden, 11 Oct 2016
SAP logo

SAP Australia's MD and COO both resign to 'pursue opportunities outside the company'

SAP's Australia/New Zealand tentacle is on the hunt for new senior leaders after its general manager and chief operating officer (COO) both handed in their resignation and “ decided to pursue opportunities outside the company.” No permanent replacements have been announced for former managing director John Ruthven and former …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Oct 2016

Australian randoms are chill with Internet data retention

Australians who don't know what the nation spends on defence also don't mind the country's data retention regime. That's according to an Australian National University (ANU) survey that's mostly been written up from the press release but which The Reg has considered a little more deeply. The full report, here, lists out the …
Facebook Workplace dashboard

Facebook's 'Workplace' collaboration dogfood is now on your menu

Facebook has taken the wraps off Workplace, its attempt at a business-collaboration-as-a-service service. The Social Network™ says its been using its own wares in-house for ages, also has 1,000 users beyond its own walls and swears that anyone who has so much contemplated logging in now inhabits some kind of higher …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Oct 2016
Woman with "crying with laughter" emoji for a head... photo by Shutterstock

BSODs from around the world, from the wrist-job to public art

BSOD WATCH For those of you who asked why there was no BSOD collection last week, the answer is simple: it was a holiday weekend in Australia. We hope this week's offerings make up for it. If you're running shy on fuel and in a hurry, this offering in California would leave you thankful that at least the gas station has more than one …

National Australia Bank starts week with TITSUP*

IBM customer National Australia Bank has started the week badly, hammered by an outage that's taken ATM and merchant facilities offline. About 1pm October 10, Sydney time, the bank said systems were beginning to return to normal after an outage lasting at least 90 minutes. The bank had a horror week last week, having to issue …
Lady looking at phone with the world map in the background connecting with the phone

Pay up or your data gets it, Fandroid

Ransomware became the main danger to users of the Android operating system in the first half of 2016. Bitdefender’s Android malware statistics show the Android SLocker ransomware family accounts for almost half of all mobile malware reported by infected devices in H1 2016 in Denmark, and a quarter in Germany. Australia (21.5 …
John Leyden, 07 Oct 2016
NBN logo

Australian broadband sat launch also tested next Ariane rocket

Video The European Space Agency (ESA) used the launch of new satellites for India and Australia to test technologies it plans to use in the successor to the Ariane 5 rocket. Flight VA231 went aloft on Thursday, taking with it the Sky Muster II satellite that will help Australia's national broadband network (NBN) to reach remote …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Oct 2016

18 seconds that blacked out South Australia

Comment In spite of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) putting South Australia's blackout down to fallen 275 kV transmission towers, the prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has doubled down on the stupid notion that renewables made the blackout. One of his comments is plain silly: saying that in electricity grid priorities, “the …
Office 365, photo by dennizn via Shutterstock

Securing Office 365? There's always more you can do

Wherever you look there's yet another SME or enterprise migrating to Office 365. This says a lot for the attractiveness of cloud-based office suites, and perhaps it also says something about the attractiveness of letting someone else look after one's SharePoint and Exchange servers rather than having to fight with their …
Dave Cartwright, 06 Oct 2016

Police raid India call centre, detain 500 in fraud probe

More than 500 call centre staff have been detained by police in India, after allegedly threatening US citizens and siphoning off their money. The raid was carried out by over 200 Indian police personnel across three separate call centres, according to reports. The operators are alleged to have posed as officials of US Tax …
Kat Hall, 06 Oct 2016

Google un-clogs Landsat and Sentinel-2 imagery downloads

Geo-geeks rejoice (and, if you're in a country that has such things, pray for your download allowance): Google is now hosting Landsat and Sentinel-2 data on its public cloud. The NASA-US Geological Survey Landsat data stretches back to 1982, with images ranging from 15 to 60 metres per pixel; data collected from the European …
Telstra from Shutterstock

Government rushes 000 tender out, two years ahead of schedule

Look out, Australia: the government wants to turn the Triple-Zero emergency call service into a fully-agile, IP-enabled multimedia extravaganza. The office of communications minister "Missing Mitch" Fifield has sent out a media release explaining that the service, currently run under the hand of Telstra, has been put out for …

Whales permitting, Hawaiki sub cable to hit Sydney in August 2017

The Hawaiki Cable, which would create trans-Pacific competition for those shipping bits across the ocean to Australia and New Zealand, plans to get its Australian landing in place by August 2017. That information comes via its environmental impact statement, published in this PDF. In the document, the company says it will be …

NBN is essential, says Essential poll, but not Turnbull's NBN

Australia's famous two-party divide doesn't apply to our attitude towards the Internet: nearly everybody thinks the Internet is an essential service. According to polling from the Essential Report published yesterday, Liberal voters are slightly more likely to consider the Internet an essential service than Labor – 92 per cent …

These diabetes pumps obey unencrypted radio commands – which is, frankly, f*%king stupid

Johnson & Johnson's Animas division has issued a letter [PDF] warning diabetes patients using its OneTouch Ping insulin pump that the device could be triggered remotely. Discounting the possibility of an attack as "extremely low," the company nonetheless says that "a person could potentially gain unauthorized access to the …
Thomas Claburn, 05 Oct 2016
Australian Parliament House Canberra

Australia's e-Senate vote count: a good start but needs improvement

An international group of security, encryption, and electoral academics believe Australia's Senate voting software needs an audit. The group, including researchers from MIT, UC Berkeley, and the University of Melbourne, took a look (PDF) at the Australian Electoral Commission's (AEC's) implementation of electronic counting for …
NBN SkyMuster satellite rocket

nbn™'s Sky Muster II satellite launch grounded by wind

nbn™'s second satellite for delivering wireless broadband to remote areas, Sky Muster™ II, is unexpectedly still on the ground. The launch of Sky Muster™ II was scheduled for 05:00 AM Wednesday, Sydney time, atop an Ariane 5 rocket launched from the the European Spaceport in Kourou, Guyana. But as Arianspace reports, “ …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Oct 2016
Huawei P8

Premier League Sky card crims ordered to cough up nearly £1m

Two fraudsters who supplied fake Premier League football broadcast viewing cards to pubs and betting shops have been ordered by a court to stump up nearly £1m. Simon Hopkins, 48, and Leon Passlow, 59, were jailed for 42 months last August after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud. The two ran a firm called Digicam …
Gareth Corfield, 04 Oct 2016
Flea Market

Markslist: Facebook touts its own tat bazaar

Facebook is looking to kill yet another reason to ever leave its walled garden with the launch of a classifieds service. The Facebook Marketplace will allow users to post item listings and then complete the sale outside of the social network. Users can post their ads for free and use the listings for either new or used items …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Oct 2016
Crying baby in autumn. Photo by shutterstock

ACCC could spoil startups' exit strategy

The favourite exit strategy for Australian retail “disruptors”, get yourself acquired by Woolworths or Coles, is under threat – and startupville isn't happy. Last Thursday, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims pointed out the obvious: online retail startups only present a competitive challenge to …

Dirty diesel backups will make Hinkley Point C look like a bargain

Britain signed off on the most costly energy deal it has ever made this week – but the price we agreed for energy from Hinckley is still lower than the peak prices that will hit British wallets even harder, and sooner. Current commitments to renewable generation will cost each household £466 by 2020/21, the centre-right think …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Sep 2016

Samsung: And for my next trick – exploding WASHING MACHINES

Samsung's bad month gets worse as the South Korean electronics giant warns that some of its washing machines may halt and catch fire. The tech giant says it is working with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on a plan to fix top-loading washing machines prone to what Samsung terms "abnormal vibrations", or as the …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Sep 2016

Researchers crack Oz Govt medical data in 'easy' attack with PCs

Australian researchers have laid waste to the Federal Government's plan to criminalise the decryption of anonymised state data sets, just a day after it was announced, by 'easily' cracking government-held medical data. Federal attorney-general George Brandis yesterday announced that it would accept recommendations from the …
Darren Pauli, 29 Sep 2016
NBN truck on Mount Cotton

Source: nbn™'s fibre-to-the-kerb will be VDSL at 100/40Mbps

The Register has learned that the fibre-to-the-distribution-point (FTTdp) technology to be used in Australia's national broadband network (NBN) will use VDSL and be capable of 100/40Mbps speeds. Sources familiar with nbn™ design decisions tell The Register that nbn™, the company building and operating Australian's NBN, decided …

South Australian mega-storm blacks out whole state

An “unprecedented” storm in South Australia blacked out the entire state yesterday, and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is warning another low pressure system will cross the state today. The attack by the Syrian Electronic Army's weather control unit – no, that's not right – the storm took down high-voltage power …
Man in an orange jumpsuit clutches prison bars. Image by Shutterstock

Australia wants law to ban de-anonymisation of anonymous data

Yet again, the Australian government has announced a proposal that could outlaw academic research. In the wake of the privacy concerns that surrounded Australia's 2016 Census, attorney-general George Brandis has said the government will make it illegal to de-anonymise data sets that have been de-identified. In the lead-up to …
Redback spider. Photo by shutterstock

Redback sinks fangs into Aussie's todger AGAIN... second time in five months

An Aussie builder has endured the agony of being bitten on the todger by a redback spider for the second time in five months*. The 21-year-old who asked not to be fully named, for obvious reasons, said that lightning had indeed struck twice in “pretty much the same spot” when used a portable loo on a building site in Sydney …
Paul Kunert, 28 Sep 2016
NBN Logo

nbn™ dumps Optus HFC, will use fibre to the kerb for ≈700k sites

nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN) has announced it will overbuild part of the hybrid fibre-coax network it acquired from Optus. When nbn™ bought the Optus network it proclaimed that doing so “will hasten the rollout of the National Broadband Network … and enable us to complete …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Sep 2016