Archive: August 2016

1
Lawyers potential rich targets for hackers
2
Government committed to introducing Mandatory Data Breach Notification laws
3
Oracle’s Point-of-Sale division targeted by professional hackers
4
Sour Apple blasts the Banks for application to ACCC
5
Hackers to take the blame for Census?
6
The White House issues response guide to a cyber attack
7
Was Mickey Mouse hacked?

Lawyers potential rich targets for hackers

By Cameron Abbott and Rebecca Murray

As the threat of cybercrime and cyber espionage continues to grow globally, the Law Council of Australia has announced that it will launch a national cyber security information campaign for the legal profession this year. Read the Law Council’s media release here.

The Law Council has been working in partnership with the legal profession, cyber security experts, and government to formulate the information initiative since it nominated cyber security as a key priority at the beginning of the year. Launch of the campaign is expected by the end of 2016.

The president of the Law Council, Stuart Clark, says cyber security is a ‘major problem’ for law firms and the government has an important role to play in raising awareness and providing information about the technology involved. We say, we like teasing large global companies about their security failings … as long as it’s not ours!!

Government committed to introducing Mandatory Data Breach Notification laws

By Cameron Abbott and Rebecca Murray

After much delay, a spokesperson for Attorney-General, George Brandis has said the government is committed to introducing the Mandatory Data Breach Notification laws this year. We will be sure to look out for it during the next term of Parliament. You can find more information on the proposed scheme and its regulatory impact on the Attorney General’s Department consultation for Serious Data Breach Notification webpage.

 

Oracle’s Point-of-Sale division targeted by professional hackers

By Cameron Abbott and Rebecca Murray

Oracle confirmed last week that its security was breached by a Russian organized cybercrime group infamous for hacking retailers and banks. Alarmingly, Oracle’s MICROS point-of-sale credit card payment system was one of the systems targeted in the attack. While the impact of the breach is still being investigated, the attack could have had wide impact. MICROS is one of the top three point-of-sale vendors worldwide and sells point-of-sale systems used at more than 330,000 cash registers globally.

It has been reported that Oracle became aware of the breach after its staff discovered malicious code on the MICROS customer support portal and systems. It is thought that the hackers installed malware on the troubleshooting portal in order to capture customers’ credentials as they logged in. Usernames and passwords could then be used to access customer accounts and remotely control MICROS point-of-sales terminals.

The attack has been linked to crime gang, Carbanak Gang, which has been accused of stealing more than $1 Billion from banks and retailers in the past. These guys clearly know what they are doing.

Sour Apple blasts the Banks for application to ACCC

By Cameron Abbott and Rebecca Murray

Last month we reported that three of Australia’s largest banks had collectively launched an application to the ACCC seeking permission to negotiate with Apple Inc. to install their own electronic payment applications on iPhones.

Apple has submitted a scathing response to the ACCC, warning that allowing the banks to negotiate will compromise the iPhone handset’s security, reduce innovation and blunt Apple’s entry into the payments market in Australia. Read Apple’s submission to the ACCC here.

Apple expressed particular concern about security risks, claiming that providing simple access to NFC antenna by banking applications would fundamentally diminish the high level of security of Apple devices. This concern is not unwarranted as it was recently revealed that hackers have found ways to intercept contactless mobile payments in Samsung’s latest Galaxy smartphones. While Samsung refuted this in a recent blog post, an attached Samsung FAQ revealed that it is possible for an attacker to skim a smartphone’s payment token and make fraudulent purchases.

Hackers to take the blame for Census?

By Cameron Abbott and Rebecca Murray

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) says that the 2016 online census form was subject to “four Denial of Service attacks,” which prompted the ABS to shut down its Census website as a security precaution on Tuesday night. Read the ABS’s media release here.

While the ABS maintains that 2 million forms were successfully submitted and safely stored, thousands of Australians were prevented from taking part in the Census due to the website crash. The ABS has revealed that it believes that the attacks came from overseas and were a deliberate attempt to sabotage the census. However, we are wondering if the entire Australian population accessing the website at the same time might look like a Denial of Service attack in its own right! If ever a system should have been robust enough to cope with such an attack it was this one.

Attorney-General George Brandis has stated that the security measures in place were “more than sufficient to protect individual privacy” and that “the cyber security operations centre has been engaged overnight…and is investigating the matter.”

The White House issues response guide to a cyber attack

By Cameron Abbott and Simon Ly

Last week, the White House issued the US government’s response guide to cyber attacks titled “Presidential Policy Directive – United States Cyber Incident Coordination”.

Billed to combat “malicious activity, malfunction, human error and acts of nature”, the Directive aims to provide a guide to handle significant cyber incidents while fostering the advancement of technology and innovation. The Directive has a five-level grading system. It has been reported that no hack attack has reached level 5 yet, with this being reserved for a “threat to infrastructure, government stability or American lives”.

If it wasn’t apparent already, this guide emphasises the growing risks of cyber attacks both to governments and companies. It will be interesting to see the Directive in action as the response to the Directive has been mixed, with some saying it doesn’t go far enough and that it simply codifies existing practices. This criticism seems a little unfair because you would hope that existing practices were relatively well thought through and thus not a bad standard to entrench.

For more information, you can access the White House’s press release here.

Was Mickey Mouse hacked?

By Cameron Abbott and Rebecca Murray

Disney Interactive has notified users of its Playdom Forum that hackers have stolen personal information, which could put their privacy and online security at risk. The hackers acquired usernames, email addresses, and passwords for playdomforums.com accounts as well as IP addresses. Disney has not disclosed how many users have been affected, although the forum is said to have over 350,000 members. Read Disney Interactive’s statement here.

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