Archive: August 10, 2016

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Sour Apple blasts the Banks for application to ACCC
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Hackers to take the blame for Census?

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.”

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