Articles about Australia

HBO slaps takedown demand on 13-year-old girl's painting because it used 'Winter is coming'

Pic It turns out King Joffrey isn't the biggest scumbag at HBO after all. A father in the UK Midlands says lawyers at the cable TV network demanded his 13-year-old daughter's artwork be taken off the internet after she drew a lovely picture titled "Winter is coming" and posted the image to arts'n'craft website RedBubble. "My …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Dec 2016

Stealing, scamming, bluffing: El Reg rides along with pen-testing 'red team hackers'

Feature "Go to this McDonald's," Chris Gatford told me. "There's a 'Create Your Taste' burger-builder PC there and you should be able to access the OS. Find that machine, open the command prompt and pretend to do something important. "I'll be watching you." Gatford instructed your reporter to visit the burger barn because he …
Darren Pauli, 08 Dec 2016
Image by Lawrey https://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-702868p1.html

Masterful malvertisers pwn Channel 9, Sky, MSN in stealth attacks

A two-year long, highly sophisticated malvertising campaign infected visitors to some of the most popular news sites in the UK, Australia, and Canada including Channel 9, Sky News, and MSN. Readers of those news sites, just a portion of all affected (since it also affected eBay's UK portal), were infected with modular trojans …
Darren Pauli, 08 Dec 2016

Oz gummint's 'open government' strategy arrives at last

A couple of days after being warned it was dragging its feet on open government strategies, the Federal Government has released its Open Government National Action Plan. A couple of days ago, the government had its attention sharpened by a warning that it would get kicked out of the OGP process if it didn't get cracking (from …

Crims turn to phishing-as-a-service to slash costs and max profits

Prefab phishing campaigns cost less to run and are twice as profitable as traditional phishing attacks, according to a new study by security vendor Imperva. Cybercriminals are lowering the cost and increasing the effectiveness of email phishing by buying complete packages of compromised servers and all the other components …
John Leyden, 07 Dec 2016
Telstra from Shutterstock

Australia's universal telco service obligation's day is done

Australia's Productivity Commission (PC) has suggested the nation can probably scrap the telecommunications universal service obligation (TUSO) that requires every Australian be provided with a telephone connection. The base reason for the suggestion, contained in a draft report (PDF), is that the TUSO was designed for a time …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Dec 2016

Standards body warned SMS 2FA is insecure and nobody listened

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) advice that SMS is a poor way to deliver two factor authentication is having little impact, according to Duo Security. Last July NIST declared that sending one-time passwords to mobile phones was insecure. The organisation wrote in its advisory that the likelihood …
Darren Pauli, 06 Dec 2016
Vocus Australia Singapore Cable

Vocus to build Singapore-Australia submarine cable

Junior telco Vocus has confirmed it will build a submarine cable linking Singapore and Australia, with a stop in the Indonesian capital Jakarta. The Australia-Singapore Cable will have capacity up to 40Tbps and will make landfall in Perth. The cable's been on the drawing board for some time but Vocus today told the Australian …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Dec 2016

Guessing valid credit card numbers in six seconds? Priceless

Fraudsters can guess credit card numbers in as little as six seconds per attempt thanks to security gaps in Visa's network, academics say. The brute force attacks allow criminals to bombard Visa with card payment requests across multiple sites with each attempt narrowing the possible combinations until a valid card number and …
Darren Pauli, 05 Dec 2016

Banks' bid to board iPhones' NFC chips rebuffed

The four Australian banks attempting to use iPhones' near-field communications chips for their own payment services, and not Apple Pay, have all-but failed. Australia's Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac together control about 70 per cent of the nation's credit card market. Together with minnow The Bendigo …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Nov 2016
Australian Parliament House Canberra

Turnbull's hand-picked disruptor disrupts disruption by departing

Paul Shetler, the head of Australia's Digital Transformation Office/Agency has resigned. A brief canned statement from the Agency offers no information on the reasons for his departure. Beyond a promise to appoint a replacement “in the new year” and a few boilerplate words expressing thanks for his contribution, there's no …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Nov 2016
Trump, photo by uplift the world via Shutterstock

Internet Archive preps Canadian safe haven to swerve Donald Trump

It's something many Americans have talked about – moving to Canada to escape President Donald Trump – but now the Internet Archive is preparing to do just that. "On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change," reads a blog post from the organization's founder, Brewster Kahle. "It was a …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Nov 2016
Sydney Harbour Bridge in the cloud

OVH's northern customers offered steamy southern summer holiday

The lights are on at French cloud concern OVH's new bit barns in Australia and Singapore, but for now only current customers are allowed to board the bare metal. OVH officials today told The Register the company polled its customer base and found 3,000 were keen on the chance to get cloudy on the equator or down under. The …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Nov 2016
China

Alibaba's lights are on in Australia, but hardly anyone is home

Alibaba's Aliyun cloud may have switched on in Australia, but hardly anyone is home: the company has hired only a modest support team and is yet to hire the consultants, evangelists and other staff to help it achieve its stated aim of encouraging organisations to take their on-premises apps into the cloud. At a press event in …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Nov 2016

Integrator fired chap for hiding drugs conviction, told to pay compo for violating his rights

Can you fire someone for not telling you they have a criminal record and did time for dealing drugs? Australian system integrator Data#3 has just been told the answer to that question is “no”, under some circumstances. As a report (PDF) on this case explains, in late December 2014, Data#3 hired a chap known only as “Mr. AW” as …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2016
Australian Parliament House Canberra

IBM pays up after 'clearly failing' DDoS protection for Australia's #censusfail

Australia's census all-but failed due to a combination of poor design, bad operational decisions, human error and numerous lazy and/or bad decisions that could have been avoided had warnings about corporate culture been heeded, or Australian government agencies properly educated about what it takes to deliver digital services …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2016
Plane. Image via shutterstock

Melbourne man arrested for broadcasting fake messages to pilots

Melbourne man Paul Sant has been charged with unauthorised broadcasting over to pilots over radio bands restricted to aviation users, causing one plane to abort a landing to Tullamarine Airport. Sant, 19, is alleged to have placed 16 separate transmissions to pilots at Tullamarine and Avalon airports between 5 September and 3 …
Darren Pauli, 24 Nov 2016
Election hacking

CompSci Prof raises ballot hacking fears over strange pro-Trump voting patterns

Donald Trump's surprise win in the United States' presidential election could conceivably be attributed to illegal hacking and needs to be investigated, according to a security expert. A statistical analysis by J Alex Halderman, professor of computer science at the University of Michigan's Center for Computer Security and …
Iain Thomson, 24 Nov 2016
NBN

NetComm kicked to the curb by nbn™ for fibre-not-quite-to-the-home

Nearly 20 years after it was a supplier to Optus' hybrid fibre coax build, Australian comms-kit-maker NetComm will help replace the network. The company yesterday announced it's won a contract to supply one-port and four-port nodes for the National Broadband Network's Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC) services. In NetComm's …
Trump, photo by uplift the world via Shutterstock

Trump may stump Australian techies heading for the US

In January 2016, the United States changed the rules of the E-3 visa to make it easier for skilled Australians working in the USA to stay there for longer. And yesterday President-elect Donald Trump announced he would “direct the Department of Labor to investigate all abuses of visa programs that undercut the American worker …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Nov 2016

Boffins bake Crysis ransomware's keys into handy decryptor

Anti-malware outfit ESET has baked master decryption keys into a tool that lays waste to the Crysis ransomware. Crysis began to gain traction in June after being first noticed February circulating through malicious emails and leveraging the demise of now dead rival TeslaCrypt. The malware encrypts about 200 file types across …
Darren Pauli, 22 Nov 2016
Selection of Australian banknotes

Australian government never asked nbn™ to apply for private loans

When nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), announced it had secured a loan for AU$19.5bn from Australia's government, it looked like the network-builder had failed to convince lenders it was a decent customer. The reality is a little different: minister for Finance Mathias …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Nov 2016
NBN CEO Bill Morrow

NBN costs creating budget time bomb: Deloitte

Once a fan of Australia's National Broadband Network, Deloitte Access Economics is now warning it's a time bomb for the federal budget. Last week, the federal government tipped in a loan of AU$19.5 billion so nbnTM could finish its NBN rollout. Deloitte is now warning that the network doesn't cover the government's total $49 …
China

Open sesame: Alibaba to open its first data centre in Europe

The cloudy arm of China's Amazon-equivalent Alibaba is opening its first data centre in Europe – part of the outfit's bid for global cloud domination. Alibaba Group is partnering with Vodafone Germany to co-locate Alibaba Cloud's first European data centre at Vodafone's data centre facilities in Frankfurt. The biz has also …
Kat Hall, 21 Nov 2016
Michele Orru. Image: Darren Pauli / The Register.

Hacker dishes advanced phishing kit to hook clever staff in 10 mins

Kiwicon Michele Orru has released an automated phishing toolkit to help penetration testers better exploit businesses. The well-known FortConsult hacker, better known as Antisnatchor (@antisnatchor), dropped the phishing kit at the Kiwicon hacking event in Wellington New Zealand last week, offering hackers tips to more successfully …
Darren Pauli, 21 Nov 2016
NBN CEO Bill Morrow

Australian government lends nbn™ AU$19.5bn to finish the job

nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network, has secured a AU$19.5bn loan from Australia's government and will use it to complete project. “nbn™has been advised the government will loan the remaining $19.5 billion required for the total $49 billion base case peak funding forecast,” said CEO …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2016
Burning money, photo via Shutterstock

Fintech startup Revolut pulls out of several countries, promises swift return

Exclusive Payment service Revolut has contacted users in several countries to warn them that funds in their accounts will disappear if not transferred to a bank by November 21. Revolut offers its customers a MasterCard to which they can load their own funds. The company's schtick is automatic payment in foreign currencies, at excellent …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2016
Melbourne, Australia -May 19, 2016: Blue and white Police tape cordoning off a building site like a crime scene, Australia 2016. Editorial Credit: STRINGER Image / Shutterstock.com   Editorial Use Only.

The case for a police-civilian cyber super-agency in Australia

Opinion The Australian Federal Government is wasting millions of dollars on redundant cyber-capabilities. It should scupper its competing agencies and strip powers from others, and hand the lot to a resuscitated Australian High Tech Crime Center police-civilian super-agency that would be distributed across Australian capital cities. …
Mark Arena, 17 Nov 2016
Man heaves giant rock above his head in the middle of the woods. Photo by Shutterstock

Facebook Telecom Infrastructure Project starts chucking rocks at mobile model

Analysis Nine months after announcing its Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP), Facebook has held its first summit and unveiled new partners and a first concrete project, a white box transponder/router for fibre backhaul, called Voyager. This is an indication, if any were needed, that the social media giant was not just tub-thumping …
Wireless Watch, 17 Nov 2016
angry_woman_mobile_cropped_648

Telecoms Ombudsman praises nbn™ for growing connections faster than complaints

Australia's Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has praised nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), for an increasing number of complaints about the network. That may sound counter-intuitive, but the Ombudsman says “It is positive that the rate of growth in the number of active …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2016

Adobe fined a whole million dollars for 2013 mega-breach

Fifteen of the United States of America have flogged Adobe with warm, wet, lettuce for its 2013 mega-breach that saw 38 million credentials leaked. North Carolina attorney general Roy Cooper says his State, plus 14 others*, have agreed that Adobe should hand over one million US dollars to compensate the 552,000 punters whose …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2016
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella hits Sydney and channels Steve O'Ballmer from eight years ago

A little over eight years ago, then-Microsoft-CEO Steve Ballmer came to Australia, told developers that Microsoft loved them and predicted that within a decade average homes would have screens on just about every wall. Thanks to Microsoft and the earnest efforts of clever developers, he said, we'd always have information and …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2016

DirecTV Now to give Apple TV free for those who take 3-month deal

We made it very clear in our October 20 review of DirecTV Now that no set top was going to be commissioned for the service and yet it would deliver to any TV, because it would use a digital media adapter such as Apple TV. So it wasn’t the biggest surprise we have come across when 3 weeks later another story ran, suggesting the …
Faultline, 15 Nov 2016
Australian Parliament House Canberra

Reg inquiry sees CSIRO clarify supercomputer tender

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has clarified its requirements for a new supercomputer, after an inquiry from The Register pointed out an inconsistency in its tender. As we reported yesterday, CSIRO's tender called for Windows compatibility and either Intel x86 or IBM Power CPUs …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Nov 2016

Stanford team behind NSX and OpenFlow spawns network modelling startup

The Stanford University research team that gave the world OpenFlow and VMware's NSX has spawned another interesting startup: Forward Networks de-cloaked on Monday US time with a network modelling technology. The company's tools let you take a snapshot of your networks and then build a working simulation in software. “Think …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Nov 2016
NASA's exploding star illustration

Boffins find Galaxy making killer radiation, rule out Samsung phone as source

It's not just radio any more: Penn State University boffins have turned up a “fast gamma ray burst” that correlates with a source of a fast radio burst (FRB). The still-mysterious FRBs have excited astro-boffins ever since 2013. In 2015, Australian astronomer Emily Petroff pulled off the first real-time observation of an FRB …
Lisa Harvey-Smith at ASKAP

Australia teases binning x86 for Power CPUs in new supercomputer

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has issued a (regwalled) tender for a new petaflop-class supercomputer that can run either x86 or Power systems silicon. But those keen to declare Intel's high-end reign is coming to an end should not get too excited: the tender may mention Power …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2016

The hated Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal will soon be dead. Yay?

Comment The Trans-Pacific Partnership is almost certainly dead. Or at least America's role in it is. The much-maligned trade agreement that took seven years to draw up and simplifies trading rules between nations in the Pacific Rim – Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and a number of others – hit fierce …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Nov 2016
Data_image_via_Shutterstock

Veeam ponders hyperconverged data protection play

Veeam is pondering a product to protect data stored inside hyperconverged systems, the company's new president and chief operating officer Peter McKay tells The Register. McKay is visiting Australia for VMware's “vForum” mini-gabfest and dropped in at Vulture South for a chat before the day. He said the company wants more …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Nov 2016
Sydney Harbour Bridge in the cloud

Adobe Australia drops SaaS tax dodge

The world's ongoing efforts to get multinational technology companies paying and collecting the proper amount of tax has claimed another win, with Adobe advising it will add Australia's Goods and Services Tax (GST - think VAT, British readers and sales tax in North America) to the cost of its Creative Cloud. Australia charges …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Nov 2016
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

Analyst reckons proprietary IoT wireless interfaces won't last

An analyst outfit is warning that the Internet of Insecure Junk Things industry's enthusiasm for proprietary protocols will come to an abrupt halt once standards bodies get their acts together. ABI Research says the advent of key cellular industry standards – LTE Cat-M1, Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), and Extended Coverage GSM IoT, …

Australia again ponders making attorney-general netadmin-in-chief

Australia's attempt to make its attorney-general Netadmin-in-chief is back on the legislative agenda. An exposure draft for the proposed law, available here, would give the A-G sweeping powers over the operation of telecommunications networks. The provisions in the year-old exposure draft include the Attorney General's …

'Trust it': Results of Signal's first formal crypto analysis are in

Encrypted SMS and voice app Signal has passed a security audit with flying colours. As explained in a paper titled A Formal Security Analysis of the Signal Messaging Protocol [PDF], published by the International Association for Cryptologic Research, Signal has no discernible flaws and offers a well-designed and compromise- …
Darren Pauli, 08 Nov 2016
Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking

SETI scan saves 'scope used for first Moon landing comms

Australia's Parkes radio-telescope has found one of the white knights it needed, in the form of the search-for-intelligent-life Breakthrough Listen project. Ever since the country's premier government research agency, the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) was mugged by budget cuts, there's been …
NBN Logo

nbn™ aces the easiest construction target it will have for two years

nbn™, the organisation building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network, has emitted new canned statements to describe its progress that, as always, have a slightly soviet feel to them because as always everything's going just fine. The company says it hit all targets and therefore “demonstrated continuing …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Nov 2016
Australian Parliament House Canberra

Free OpenStack Australia Day: Government tickets to Reg readers

PROMO Next Monday, November 14th, OpenStack Australia Day: Government hits Canberra. And The Register has free tickets for readers. At the day you'll be able to tap into the OpenStack community by meeting folks like OpenStack Foundation Cloud Application Community Wrangler David F. Flanders. Or perhaps government leaders are more …
Team Register, 07 Nov 2016
Boy with a backpack hides his eyes and cries. Pic by Shutterstock

School cyber safety spiel shows smut to 'Strayan students

ENTIRELY SFW VID A school cyber safety spiel delivered by Symantec's Norton brand at Australia's Robina High School has resulted in smut being displayed to the assembled students. The talk was hosted by Symantec security bod Nick Savvides and featured former NFL footballer Jarryd Hayne, who used social media to good effect when making the move …
Team Register, 07 Nov 2016

In dire straits after #CensusFail, ABS to axe up to 150 staff

After the collapse of Australia's Census on August 9, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told radio shock-jock Alan Jones “Lots of people are trying to find out who to blame and what heads should roll” at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). And now we know that the first heads to roll will be rank and file staff, at least …
World's shortest international flight

World's shortest international flight: now just 21km in 7 minutes

Austrian airline People's Viennaline this week started flying the world's shortest international flight: a 21km hop from the Swiss town of St. Gallen to the German town of Friedrichshafen. The two towns are separated by Lake Constance and 66.1km of roads that Google tells us will take just 54 minutes to traverse. Along the …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Nov 2016

Uncle Sam launches open source trove of government code

The United States government has made good on its policy of requiring agencies to release 20 per cent of their bespoke code as open source by making code.gov live, complete with lots of code. Code.gov is a rather bare bones affair, with a listing of available projects its richest page as it offers code from 13 agencies. Among …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Nov 2016