Articles about Australia

Australia’s .au admins told to reform or get rooted

The administrator of Australia’s top level .au domain, auDA, has been told to reform or be forcibly stripped of its role. That edict was delivered yesterday by Australia’s minister for communications Mitch Fifield, who ordered a review of auDA after the organisation’s board introduced a Code of Conduct that restricted members …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2018

Australian Feds cuff woman who used BTC to buy drugs on dark web

Australia’s Border Force (ABF) has warned that “people shouldn’t assume the dark web is invisible to Australian agencies” after cuffing a woman who bought illicit drugs using Bitcoin and had them shipped from the UK to Australia. The ABF chose Friday the 13th of April to announce that a woman had run out of luck after she “ …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2018
Woman says oops after data breach... or spome other mistake, possibly. Illustration by Shutterstock/sergey sobin

Azure needs extra security controls before it's fit for government use, says Australia

UPDATE So this is awkward: last week Microsoft trumpeted its new Australian Azure regions for government clients. But three days later Australian authorities said the new regions Australian government organisations need extra security controls before they're sufficiently secure before using any Azure services. The “can do better” …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2018
Drop bears: Australia's most deadly creature

Facebook’s in real trouble now: Australia’s opened a probe

Australia’s office of the information commissioner (OAIC) has opened a probe into Facebook after the Social Network™ revealed that some of the records that may or may not have ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica described Australians. “The investigation will consider whether Facebook has breached the Privacy Act 1988 …
Bill Morrow NBN CEO

nbn™ CEO pleads with staff to control costs in ‘seeya later’ letter

The outgoing CEO of nbn™, the company building and operating Australia’s national broadband network (NBN), has implored the company’s staff to “keep our costs down” in the “note to employees” announcing his departure. Posted to LinkedIn, Bill Morrow’s note says “I kindly ask for your ongoing support in three areas: 1) …
NBN CEO Bill Morrow

nbn™ loses its head: CEO Bill Morrow bails

nbn™, the company building and operating Australia’s national broadband network (NBN), has announced that CEO Bill Morrow will step down “by year end 2018”. Morrow’s canned statement features him saying ““I believe that as the company prepares to confront the new challenges ahead, this is the right time to hand over the reins …
Parliament House Canberra

Microsoft Australia flicks switch on Protected Azure-for-Gov service

Microsoft has flicked the switch on two new data centres for Australian and New Zealand government customers. The company announced the “Australia Central” and “Australia Central 2” regions last year, along with the unusual arrangement that they would be housed in third party bit barns run by an outfit called Canberra Data …
Parliament House Canberra icon

Australian Senate passes meaningless motion that says encryption is very useful

Digital rights campaigners are celebrating a small, symbolic victory, with the country's Senate voting to protect the integrity of cryptography. The vote, which happened just before 4pm on Tuesday March 27, at least indicates that any government legislation weakening encryption won't get free passage through the Senate. …

New South Wales ponders post-mortem data protection laws

The Australian state of New South Wales has ordered an inquiry into what happens to your social media accounts and digital assets once you’re dead. The State’s Law Reform Commission has been tasked with probing “whether NSW needs legislation to regulate who can access the digital assets of a person who has died or is …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Mar 2018
Robot as person illustration via Shutterstock

Cyborg fined for riding train without valid ticket

A self-described “cyborg” who slipped a public transport smartcard under his skin has pled guilty to riding trains without a valid ticket and copped a fine, plus costs. Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, the chap’s actual name, claims to be a bio-hacker and, as we wrote in 2017, wanted to pay for train journeys with a wave of …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Mar 2018
Thomas the tank engine

Transport for NSW scrambles to patch servers missing fixes released in 2007

Around a third of servers at Transport for New South Wales, the public transport department in Australia’s largest most populous state, need security patches, some dating back to 2007. But IBM, which provides IT services to the agency, doesn’t have enough people dedicated to the job to get it done in the planned time frame or in …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Mar 2018
Backdoor key

IPv6 and 5G will make life hell for spooks and cops say Australia's spooks and cops

The Australian government has fingered the next threat in the country's cryptography vs. policing debate: the IPv6 protocol. The nation's Department of Home Affairs (a super-department created last year to bring immigration, border protection, and security services under a single minister) aired its fears in a submission to …
Selection of Australian banknotes

Microsoft Australia changes App Store T&Cs to pay GST

Microsoft Australia's taken further steps to ensure that Australia's goods and services tax (GST) is collected on apps sold at the Microsoft Store. The company last week quietly updated its App Developer Agreement from version 8.1 to 8.2, with the changelog noting that the new version "Updated tax language to: (i) grant …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Feb 2018
NBN truck on Mount Cotton

nbn™'s HFC fix will see connections tested from March to July 2018

nbn™, the company building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has advised households connected to its hybrid fibre-coax network to expect a visit between March 7th 2018 and July 27th 2018. An "inspection and maintenance notice" sent to your correspondent said a physical inspection is necessary "to …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Feb 2018
Telstra from Shutterstock

Telstra: Don't expect HFC NBN sales to resume before July

Telstra has no inside information on when nbn™ will end its moratorium on new HFC conections. CEO Andy Penn made that observation after presenting Telstra's latest half-year results. The most he was prepared to say was that "we would not expect any recommencement … in the current financial year." He said beyond what nbn™ CEO …
NBN logo

nbn™ scoreboard: our new way to look at Australia's national broadband network

nbn™, the organisation building and operating Australia's national broadband network, is the subject of endless controversy. So The Register has decided to try to assess it in a new way, with a scoreboard of the metrics that nbn™ offers in its results presentations, compared to those in its 2018-2021 corporate plan (PDF). The …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Feb 2018
NBN truck side with First Aid sticker

nbn 's CVC discounts worked - ISPs splashed for 38 per cent more bandwidth

Australia's internet service providers have responded to discounts in the Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) by buying more bandwidth for their users, but the news isn't all good because they're still offering just 1.53 Mbps per user. That last figure comes from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) which …
man photocopies own head, pic by shutterstock

To hack Australia and learn its secrets, buy second-hand furniture

The Australian government has suffered what must be one of the most ridiculously embarrassing security breach in its history: Cabinet records from five successive governments were sent to a second-hand furniture store... in filing cabinets. The trove ended up in the hands of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC, which …

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