By Cameron Abbott and Georgia Mills
News of Facebook’s involvement in the United States’ elections is nothing new, especially with the ongoing Cambridge Analytica scandal, so it should come as little surprise that the social media giant has extended its reach into the Australian electoral sphere.
Facebook approached Australia’s major political parties during the 2016 Federal election offering a powerful data matching tool. This “advanced matching” tool would allow parties to match data they had collected about voters- including names, dates of birth, contact details, and postcodes- against similar information provided by users on their Facebook profiles. The combined data would allow parties to identify swinging voters and target them with tailored ads when they use Facebook.
By Cameron Abbott and Samantha Tyrrell
It has been alleged that Cambridge Analytica, a political data analytics firm specialising in psychological profiling, has tapped more than 50 million users’ Facebook profiles without their consent and subsequently used the data to assist Donald Trump’s 2016 electoral campaign.
Bug Bounty Programs (BBPs) actively encourage hackers to explore a company’s systems and report back on any vulnerability they discover. Often, pre-determined financial incentives are offered to the “security researcher” in return for their findings. The attraction of this process is obvious; rather than suffering a cyber incident that could – and for many organisations has – cost millions of dollars and resulted in reputational damage, companies can instead make a comparatively small payment to ethical “white hat” hackers with the intention of pre-empting an incident.
Over the weekend our closest neighbours agreed to greater cooperation on cyber security. The Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Secretary-General of ASEAN and Australian leaders met in Sydney to strengthen the ASEAN-Australia relationship. The leaders discussed issues of regional importance.
The Australian Federal Police are investigating two members of the Bureau of Meteorology’s IT team for allegedly running an operation in which they made use of the Bureau’s powerful computers to “mine” cryptocurrencies.
It was revealed late last week that the AFP raided the Bureau’s Melbourne CBD offices on February 28, and questioned the two employees. No charges have been laid, or arrests made.
Smart home devices like the Google Home and Amazon Echo were popular gifts this past Christmas – just like Fitbits have been the Christmases past.
But could these smart devices that we rely on to seek out and relay information to us, turn on our favourite music, or count our calories and steps, be used to produce evidence against us, if we were to commit a crime? Read More
Since the introduction of self-serve checkouts in Australian supermarkets nearly ten years ago, customers have been engaging in the simplest of hacks to outsmart the supermarket technology. Mum and Dad cyber criminals? Not so much– mostly it is just by putting through more expensive items as much cheaper ones (think a kilo of lemons as a kilo of potatoes).
But thanks to an Aussie start-up, new AI technology will put an end to customer’s criminal careers. Read More
By Cameron Abbott and Harry Crawford
The NSW Government’s vulnerability to hacking has been exposed in a report by state’s auditor-general, in which it was revealed that one government agency took 49 days to shut down a hack.
This hack started with an email account of the unnamed agency being compromised and used to send out “phishing” emails to get the credentials of finance staff members. By day 20, 300 staff had clicked on the bogus link in the phishing email. 200 email accounts ended up being under the control of the hackers.