Articles about Australia

SHUT UP!

Cyberpunks might not be crooks but they're really very rude

FotW An innocuous El Reg story about Russian web miscreants provoked an entirely unexpected reaction when an offended cyberpunk took it upon himself to tell us how the headline hurt his feelings. The sensitive individual - who used the cock.li mail service - took objection to a piece entitled Oh deer.io: Cyberpunks using one-stop …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Jul 2016
Sketch of AirTrunk's planned data centre in Derrimut, Melbourne

Startup AirTrunk plans big new data centres in Melbourne, Sydney, Asia

Exclusive A startup data centre builder/operator called AirTrunk has applied to build a substantial data centre on the fringes of Melbourne. AirTrunk outed itself to financial press a couple of weeks ago, claiming it has plans for bit barns in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore and Hong Kong, a tenant ready to rent substantial space, perhaps …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jul 2016
NBN truck on Mount Cotton

nbn™ switches on first Telstra HFC-powered broadband services

nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has announced its first services delivered over the hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) cables formerly owned by Australia's dominant carrier Telstra. Ocean Reef, a suburb of the Western Australian capital Perth is the lucky recipient of the new service …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jul 2016
MH 370 Search Zone

Flight sim records show MH370 captain practiced 'flight' near search area

The Australian Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) overseeing the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has confirmed the plane's captain simulated a flight over remote southern reaches of the Indian Ocean. A new statement confirms US media reports from last week that MH370 captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah flew a …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jul 2016
Heartbeat graph

Apps record your heartbeat but now you worry the Census will remember your name?

Australia will conduct a census on August 9th and for the first time will retain name and address details in the data set created by the nationwide data dredge. That's got privacy advocates worried that your data could be linked to multiple other government data sets, so much so that friend of The Register Jack Skinner has …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jul 2016
Tabby cat cuddles roll of one-hundred dollar bills. Photo by Shutterstock

Australian Banks ask permission to form anti-Apple cartel

You can't make it up: the last industry in Australia to enjoy the privileged status of “protected and guaranteed by government”, the banks, want the country's competition regulator to rubber-stamp it acting as a cartel against Apple. Apple won't let Australia's banks use iPhones for contactless payments without using Apple Pay …

Australian maps and GPS will align by 2020

Geo-boffins are getting ready to nudge Australia to the north, so its national map data agrees with the new world of GPS. The country's maps are currently based on a standard called the Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GAD94), which is more than 20 years old and ties map references to locations fixed on the Australian …
Dirty VW Beetle in Sleeper

VW's first US settlement nearly settled

Volkswagen's “dieselgate” part-settlement has received preliminary approval from a US judge. It's the start of a long, slow process for VW to clear its name after it was caught programming diesel engine management systems to enter a low-emission (and low power) state when undergoing emission tests. If the arrangement between …

Ofcom should push for fibre – Ex BT CTO

Tomorrow UK comms watchdog Ofcom will announce its plans for strengthening Openreach’s independence from BT and creating a more competitive UK broadband market. That follows a damning report by MPs last week that warned if BT doesn't get its house in order and address its significant under-investment in Blighty's …
Kat Hall, 25 Jul 2016
Plan b, image via Shutterstock

What's Brexit? How Tech UK tore up its plans after June 23

Leaders of many British tech firms were less than thrilled to hear that the UK had voted to leave the European Union. “I was shocked and horrified,” says Kate Craig-Wood, managing director of hosting firm Memset, who we spoke before the June 23 vote. Her comments were echoed by others. Mike Laven, chief executive of fintech …
SA Mathieson, 25 Jul 2016
Telstra from Shutterstock

Telstra's head of ops drops after network flops

Telstra's chief of operations, Kate McKenzie, has “retired” from the carrier. As Telstra's canned announcement points out, McKenzie has since 2013 been “responsible for Telstra’s field services, IT and network architecture and operations.” That statement also heaps praise on McKenzie, who has been with Australia's dominant …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Jul 2016
Strike a match

Cryptography vs. bigotry: The debate Australia needs to have

Australia's newly-elected senator Pauline Hanson has called for a ban on muslim immigration on national security grounds. But her position is ignorant and bigoted because it takes an idea to turn someone to terror and it's now impossible to stop the flow of ideas. Once Hanson realises that stopping immigration won't of itself …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Jul 2016
NBN logo

nbn™ talks up HFC upgrades to gigabit speed

nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has started to talk up the scalability of the hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) networks it will use to provide services to many Australians. The company commissioned analyst firm Ovum to research the role of HFC in broadband around the world. In what …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016
1980 olympics weight-lifting champs. By RIA Novosti archive, image #484445 / Dmitryi Donskoy / CC-BY-SA 3.0

OpenStack bronze for Fujitsu

Fujitsu wants to become one of the top three contributors to OpenStack. The company's keen on the open source cloud because it thinks it's an important tool when big business tries to “digitise” processes and applications so they can compete with whichever startup is trying to eat their lunch. The company's using CloudFoundry …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016
MH 370 Search Zone

We're not looking for MH370 in the wrong place say investigators

Dutch geosciences company Fugro has denied that the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has been conducted in the wrong place. Reuters yesterday quoted Fugro figures as saying that the chosen search area assumes the plane met a sudden end, but that if the crew were awake the plane could have glided well beyond …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016
Australian money at a crime scene

Data retention grants still not flowing to Australia telcos

Australia's telcos and internet service providers still have not been told when they will receive promised grants to help them implement mandatory metadata collection. Australia passed metadata retention laws in 2015 and they came into force on October 13th, 2015, albeit with a two-year grace period in which to satisfy the …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jul 2016

GMB tests Uber 'self-employed drivers' claim at London tribunal

UK union the GMB has brought two test cases to the Central London Employment Tribunal today to determine if Uber acted unlawfully by not providing its drivers with “basic workers’ rights”, such as holiday pay and a national minimum wage. This is the first time that Uber's claim that drivers are self-employed has been tested …
Katyanna Quach, 20 Jul 2016
Profits down, image via Shutterstock

Logicalis: Top line shrinks as UK restructuring continues

Restructuring at Logicalis that weighed heavy on the integrator’s financials in recent times will be over and done with at some point before the, er, end of next February. Datatec, the London-listed parent of Logicalis and networking and comms distie Weston, today issued a heads up for first quarter trading ended June - sales …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jul 2016

Governments Googling Google about you more than ever says Google

Google has published its latest “Transparency Report”, the disclosure in which it reveals how many times governments asked it to cough data on users. And this time around there's mixed news. In the “yikes!” column is the fact that governments asked Google for data 40,677 times between July 1 and December 31 of 2015, and asked …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jul 2016

Australia gets one-quarter of a minister for national infosec

If you were hoping tech would get some kind of boost in the Turnbull government's third ministry, prepare for disappointment. Mitch Fifield retains communications, and Fiona Nash remains minister for regional communications – which at least means the telcos don't have to spend the time and energy getting to know capturing …
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Happy 50th birthday, optical fibres for telecoms

One of the seminal developments in modern telecommunications turns 50 years old this month: the paper that bootstrapped the world of optical fibre communications. With this publication in the July 1966 issue of Proceedings of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now the IET), Charles Kao upended then-current research into …
MeerKAT

Africa's MeerKAT looks at the sky, surprises boffins with 1,300 galaxies

The operators of the MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa have switched on its first 16 dishes and, pretty much immediately, spotted more than 1,200 new galaxies. If all goes to plan, by the end of next year the facility will have 64 antennae, and will eventually become part of the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA …

ANZ Bank staffers drop slick incident response tool for Mandiant mobs

Security boffins at ANZ, one of Australia's largest banks, have offered their nightHawk incident response tools for organisations running free Mandiant tools. Mandiant's open source platform is fit for enterprises requiring incident response at scale, and can run off a laptop for many investigations. ANZ bank security …
Darren Pauli, 15 Jul 2016
NSW Department Of Justice's Pokemon warning

Pokemon Go Directly To Jail if you hunt here, says Oz Justice Dept

The Department of Justice in the Australian State of New South Wales has warned Pokemon hunters that if they hunt for digital critters inside courthouses they may find their next trip is to an actual jail. The Department took to Facebook to warn Pokemon Go addicts that “GOING TO COURT IS NOT A GAME: POKEMON GO TRAINERS SHOULD …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2016

Openreach boss Clive Selley wants Ofcom to wrap it up already

Interview The Sword of Damocles has not entirely disappeared from above Openreach. Earlier this year, the UK communications watchdog Ofcom stopped short of recommending a full decapitation of the British broadband provider from its parent BT. Crucially, though, it has kept the option on the table. In the next few weeks the regulator is …
Kat Hall, 14 Jul 2016

Google's Android Pay hits Australia

Android Pay has launched in Australia, with ANZ Bank being the first of the Big Four able to use the phone-only facility. The technology allows mobile payments to be made directly from mobile phones in what payment security types say is a boon to anti-fraud initiatives. It is live for Australia's ANZ Bank, Macquarie, MyState …
Darren Pauli, 14 Jul 2016
NBN logo

nbnTM names six shops to re-build Telstra's HFC network

nbnTM, the entity building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has named the six companies it has chosen to turn the hybrid fibre coax (HFC) network it acquired from Telstra into a white-hot broadband delivery beast. Lend Lease, Broadspectrum, Fulton Hogan, Downer, ISGM and BSA are the six firms to have …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2016
Crocodile Dundee, 20th Century Fox.

Alleged Aussie plum plucker pleads guilty to motel tissue swipe

An Australian man has pleaded guilty to a string of charges after allegedly performing an "unauthorised" bollock-ectomy on a 52-year-old fellow Aussie in a New South Wales motel. According to reports, 57-year-old Allan George Matthews has copped to charges of “removing tissues from the body of another without consent or …
Joe Fay, 13 Jul 2016
A woman texting

Smartphones aren't tiny PCs, but that's how we use them in the West

On a recent trip to Shanghai, I saw a person in front of me in a supermarket queue present their mobile phone when asked for payment. The clerk quickly pointed the laser scanner at the phone - blip!- the sale completed. But not thanks to NFC. I’d just seen AliPay, a mobile payments system backed by Alibaba (the world’s largest …
Mark Pesce, 13 Jul 2016

Kotkin on who made Trump and Brexit: Look in the mirror, it's you

Interview Two American writers have attempted to grapple with the rise of “populism” exemplified by Donald Trump and Brexit, with both starting (if not finishing) from the Left. Both Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges and The New Class Conflict by Joel Kotkin both make uncomfortable reading for the complacent chatterati. Both …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jul 2016
tintri_t500_front_648

Tintri 'consolidates' Australian office to Singapore

Storage vendor Tintri has “decided to consolidate APAC operations out of regional headquarters in Singapore”, effectively shuttering the Sydney office from which it served Australia and New Zealand. As archive.org records, Tintri had an office in Sydney as recently as May 7th, 2016. The company's Contact Us page now contains …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jul 2016
Image composite Titima Ongkantong, Stephen Marques, Shutterstock

Outed China ad firm infects 10m Androids, makes $300k a month

Net scum behind the Hummingbird Android malware are raking in a mind-boggling US$300,000 (£233,125, A$404,261) a month through illegitimate advertising and app downloads from a whopping 10 million infected devices. The offending group, known as Yingmob, is an offshoot of a legitimate Chinese advertising analytics firm with …
Darren Pauli, 06 Jul 2016
Woman thumbs down, image via Shutterstock

Australian Information Industries Association*: you're not the future of democracy, so please shut up

Australia's close-run federal election has brought out the tech sector in force, seeking government rent so it can appropriate the country's democracy. It's been trying – with very limited success – since the 1990s, but on the principle that “practice makes perfect”, the same arguments have been rolled out again: electronic …
Scaremongering image from Wi-Fried

Australia's ABC suspends presenter over 'Wi-Fi is dangerous' claims

Australian public broadcaster ABC has suspended the presenter behind its unscientific “Wi-Fried” Catalyst programme that aired earlier this year. Presenter Dr Maryanne Demasi of the popular science program swallowed wholesale the claims of scare-mongers like Devra Davis and Canadian opponent of Wi-Fi in schools, Frank Clegg. …
Car on Monopoly board. PHOTO BY Kamira, editorial use ONLY VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

Microsoft devolves sales ops powers to the UK

Microsoft has finally admitted its internal systems aren’t up to the job as it devolves control of sales operations from a centralised team in Europe to certain local country teams including the UK. Clare Barclay, GM for small, medium solutions and partners at the vendor, confirmed the shift will take place from “early 2017” …
Paul Kunert, 05 Jul 2016

Researcher pops locks on keylogger, finds admin's email inbox

Trustwave researcher Rodel Mendrez has gained access to the inbox of the criminal behind a commercial keylogger used to attack industries including finance, cloud services, logistics, foreign trade, and government. Mendrez's reverse engineering effort found credentials buried within the Hawkeye keylogger that lead through …
Darren Pauli, 05 Jul 2016

Uber opens up on Oz deactivation policies, just a little

Uber in Australia has been pushed into making public the criteria that can get a driver kicked out. The “deactivation policy” went live last week, with Uber saying it's in response to complaints from drivers. Uber Australia's Mike Abbott blogs that “we don’t always do a good job working with our driver-partners to explain our …
stripped copper for recycling

Oz competition regulator seeks input on ending wholesale ADSL declaration

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is considering whether the eventual advent of the National Broadband Network (NBN) means wholesale DSL regulation can be retired. Wholesale ADSL – that is, where a reseller is taking the service from an infrastructure owner like Telstra, and adding their own billing – …

Martha Lane Fox: Brexit is all about MEEEEeeee!

Comment Some people think the main issue in the UK’s decision to leave the European Union was sovereignty and self-determination. Others think it was migration. Others think it was class. But you’re all wrong. The main issue in Brexit is Martha Lane Fox – and we have her word for it. Into this Broken Brexited Britain strides the niece …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Jul 2016
Woman with "crying with laughter" emoji for a head... photo by Shutterstock

Here's how to SMS spam Liberal voters and get away with it

It's easy to spam voters with text messages and get away with it. If you wanted to swing voters ahead of a federal election, as the Australian Labor Party is alleged to have done in a message claiming a rival Liberal Coalition Government would privatise the nation's healthcare provider Medicare, you wouldn't send a text …
Darren Pauli, 04 Jul 2016
Lauri Love. Pic: Courage Foundation

Here's how police arrested Lauri Love – and what happened next

Feature Lauri Love was arrested on suspicion of offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 early in the evening of 25 October 2013, when a National Crime Agency officer wearing dungarees and posing as a UPS courier told Love's mother that Lauri himself had to come to the porch to collect his delivery. In his dressing gown and pyjamas …

WA government still hopeless at infosec

Western Australia's Auditor General has panned the state's consistently-awful IT security, delivering its report from a site that Chrome warns isn't doing HTTPS right. The agency has been telling the state government it's security is subpar for years. When it ran hostile scans of agency networks in 2011, 14 out of 15 failed to …
Cartoon - Private SNAFU

Telstra's business network in six-hour collapse

Telstra is red-faced yet again, after suffering a long outage centred in Victoria. The TITSUP (Total Inability To Support Usual Performance) began around 2pm on June 30, and it was six hours before Telstra reported services back online. On the way, the outage forced airline Jetstar to manually process passengers at …
Image: Lessimol http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1612118p1.html

Hopeless Vic agencies have two years to hit infosec best practice

Government agencies in the Australian state of Victoria will have two years to move from near ground zero to stand up fully-fledged and updated information security, risk, and governance policies. The requirements are a big ask for agencies in the southern state, previously described as in information security turmoil after …
Darren Pauli, 30 Jun 2016
Selection of Australian banknotes

Liberal Party of Australia: why are you paying so much for ancient software?

An Australian developer has taken a look at the Liberal Party's controversial Feedback software, and guesses that MPs are paying a fairly steep licence for something developed on DataFlex. For those of you born later than the first Linux release, DataFlex was a Windows development environment that emerged from the DOS era to …

US hospitals hacked with ancient exploits

Attackers have popped three prominent US hospitals, using deliberately ancient malware so old that it slips under the radar of modern security controls to compromise Windows XP boxes and gain network beacheads. The attacks were foiled using deceptive honeypot-style frameworks, according to California-based TrapX. Hospitals …
Darren Pauli, 28 Jun 2016
SABREnet network detail

Can gigabit fibre services revive Adelaide?

The South Australian SABREnet, the local academic network that connects universities to the national AARNet network, is going to be expanded to provide high-speed connections for Adelaide businesses. Premier Jay Weatherill said yesterday the government will sling AU$4.7 million at the project, which will offer services up to …
Boy with a backpack hides his eyes and cries. Pic by Shutterstock

I want to learn about gamification but all I see is same-ification

Something for the Weekend, Sir? “You don’t know you’re born,” they would say to me during my first holiday job. “You don’t know you’re a sad, blubber-arsed freeloader coasting towards retirement,” I’d reply… in my head, of course. Out loud, I would complain that they were being unfair, and I would be slapped down with that most frustrating of clichés “Life’ …
Alistair Dabbs, 24 Jun 2016

Australia's Defence Department tips AU$12M to seat spies with students

The Department of Defence has tipped A$12 million (£6.1 million, US$9.1 million) into an information security facility to attract new blood by housing signals spooks alongside Australian National University academics. The "unusual" pairing is hoped to attract skilled students into the information security field and the country …
Darren Pauli, 24 Jun 2016

Boffins map Netflix's Open Connect CDN

Brit boffins have peeled back the covers of how Netflix has built its CDN, by requesting movies from all over the world and working out what the responses told them about the hosts. The research incidentally explains why the entertainment biz wants the Internet exchange (IXP) industry to trim its costs: in the USA, IXPs …