Archive: May 2018

1
Australian Government legislates to protect critical national infrastructure
2
Cost of cybercrime hits a new high according to the ACCC’s Scamwatch Report
3
Politicians accused of stealing data?
4
The Defence Department’s $4 million investment in Cognitive Computing
5
US Department of Homeland Security unveils five point strategy to combat cyber risk
6
Another Facebook app leaves anonymised data of 3 million users potentially exposed
7
Family Planning NSW the latest victim of cyber attacks
8
Report says Digital Rights are Human Rights
9
US Court signals that proving data breach class actions will be difficult
10
UK Information Commissioner Orders Cambridge Analytica to Hand Over American’s Personal Data

Australian Government legislates to protect critical national infrastructure

By Cameron Abbott, Keely O’Dowd and Sarah Goegan

Protecting Australia’s critical infrastructure from threats is essential to Australia’s national security interests, community safety and the overall quality of life for Australians.

In March 2018, the Australian Parliament passed the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018, which is due to commence on 11 July 2018. The Act imposes new obligations on operators and owners of “critical infrastructure assets” – Australia’s high risk major ports and electricity, water and gas utilities.

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Cost of cybercrime hits a new high according to the ACCC’s Scamwatch Report

By Cameron Abbott and Giles Whittaker

Australians are suffering more than ever to various cyber scams, with the ACCC’s ninth annual Targeting Scams Report confirming the ACCC received more than 200,000 scam reports costing a total of roughly $340 million during 2017, a $40 million increase from 2016. Whilst this increase is attributed to a variety of different cyber scams, including investment scams which totalled $64 million, an increase of more than 8%, the second largest contributor to the $340 million total losses was from dating and romance scams which amounted to $42 million. The search for love clearly has its costs. With the average loss suffered per victim totalling $6500, these losses are not inconsequential and continue to push cybersecurity into the forefront of both individuals and businesses daily activities.

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Politicians accused of stealing data?

By Cameron Abbott and Sarah Goegan

No it’s not Chinese or Russian hackers trying to influence elections. A candidate in the Ontario province elections in Canada has resigned following allegations he may have stolen data from his former employer to further his party’s campaign.

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The Defence Department’s $4 million investment in Cognitive Computing

By Cameron Abbott and Georgia Mills

The Australian Defence Department granted IBM Australia a $4 million, 3 year contract for the provision of its Watson cognitive computing infrastructure.  The platform provides a cognitive, artificial intelligence and machine learning capability for use by Defence and is only the second on-premises instance of Watson globally.

Matt Smorhun, Assistant Secretary for the ICT Strategy Realisation Branch at the Department of Defence said they decided to “just buy this thing” and then work out how it was going to fit into the organisation later. (Which did strike us as a rather strange approach to spending tax payers dollars – but congrats to the IBM sales person who pulled that off!)

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US Department of Homeland Security unveils five point strategy to combat cyber risk

By Cameron Abbott and Sarah Goegan

This week, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its Cybersecurity Strategy. The five “pillar” strategy will be executed by the DHS over the next five years, and aims to improve national cybersecurity risk management.

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Another Facebook app leaves anonymised data of 3 million users potentially exposed

By Cameron Abbott and Keely O’Dowd

Recent news reports have revealed that Facebook has been hit with another data scandal.

The anonymised data of approximately 3 million Facebook users has reportedly been published on a poorly protected website. This data was originally collected via a Facebook quiz app called “myPersonality”. The myPersonality app was developed as part of the “myPersonality project” run by academics at the University of Cambridge’s The Psychometrics Centre.

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Family Planning NSW the latest victim of cyber attacks

By Cameron Abbott and Allison Wallace

Up to 8000 clients of Family Planning New South Wales have been affected by a ransomware attack on the NGO’s website. No the sort of records people every want to see disclosed.

The website was hacked on ANZAC Day, with the personal information of clients who had contacted FPNSW  in the past 2 and a half years compromised – including details such as names, contact details and reasons for enquiries.

 

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US Court signals that proving data breach class actions will be difficult

By Andrew C. Glass, David D. Christensen, Cameron Abbott and Matthew N. Lowe

In the US, several attempts at class actions for those affected by a data breach have failed challenges in early procedural stages.  In Dieffenbach v. Barnes & Noble, Inc., 887 F.3d 826 (7th Cir. Apr. 11, 2018), the Seventh Circuit allowed a data breach class action to survive the pleadings stage.  At the same time, the Court indicated that the plaintiffs may have a tough time proving their claims on the merits or establishing that class certification is warranted.  At the end of the day, the Dieffenbach decision may prove to be less of a boon and more of a bust for plaintiffs in data breach class actions.  Although it may provide a means to get into court, the decision makes clear that obtaining a favorable outcome may be a “difficult task.”  For a full summary of the Dieffenbach decision please see our client alert here.

UK Information Commissioner Orders Cambridge Analytica to Hand Over American’s Personal Data

Cameron Abbott and Georgia Mills

The UK Information Commissioner has ordered UK-based firm Cambridge Analytica to hand over all the personal information it holds about an American academic, confirming the right of people to access the personal data held about them by a UK firm.  The academic initially approached Cambridge Analytica for it to explain what information it had gathered on him, and later complained to the Commissioner that the consulting firm had failed to share the entirety of its data on him nor explained how it accumulated the information it held.

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