Archive: July 2020

1
Trust but verify: Independent report on Australia’s “anti-encryption” legislation released
2
Update: Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy
3
OAIC and UK ICO announce joint investigation into Clearview AI
4
Twitter accounts of prominent figures hacked
5
EU Court of Justice Invalidates Privacy Shield
6
500,000 car owner records found on dark web
7
Woolworths hit with largest SPAM infringement to date
8
“The best of its kind anywhere in the world today”: COVIDSafe among the safest tracing apps globally, study finds

Trust but verify: Independent report on Australia’s “anti-encryption” legislation released

By Cameron Abbott and Rebecca Gill

The ability of a government to force a technology provider to create a “back door” into their technology to allow security agencies to “listen in” to communications is a very controversial step, but it has not been the subject of much discussion as any recipient of such intervention is gagged. 

It was interesting to see that the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor has released a report on its review of the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 (Cth) (TOLA Act). The review considered, and provided recommendations on, the operation, effectiveness and implications of the TOLA Act and whether it is necessary, is proportionate to the threats it seeks to meet and treats human rights properly.

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Update: Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy

By Cameron Abbott and Keely O’Dowd

The Australian Government is currently developing its next Cyber Security Strategy, which is scheduled for release in the coming months.

The Australian Government 2020 Cyber Security Strategy Industry Advisory Panel has released a report consisting of 60 recommendations to inform the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy. The Panel’s 60 recommendations are structured around five key pillars:

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OAIC and UK ICO announce joint investigation into Clearview AI

By Cameron Abbott, Warwick Andersen, Rob Pulham and Keely O’Dowd

On 9 July 2020, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced they have opened a joint investigation into the personal information handling practices of Clearview AI Inc.

The OAIC has stated the investigation will focus on ClearView AI’s use of “scraped” data and biometrics of individuals.

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Twitter accounts of prominent figures hacked

By Cameron Abbott, Warwick Andersen, Rob Pulham and Keely O’Dowd

Reports have surfaced that the Twitter accounts of prominent companies, politicians and celebrities were compromised on Wednesday, 15 July 2020. Hackers were able to gain large scale access to the Twitter accounts of several prominent and influential US personalities and companies to promote a cryptocurrency scam.

It is concerning that the accounts of prominent figures were targeted and compromised. Given the level of influence and prominence several of those individuals have on social media, the hackers had the potential to cause greater havoc. On this occasion, it appears the hackers were financially motivated to perform the cyber attack by seeking “donations” via Bitcoin. The hackers sent out tweets asking people to donate Bitcoin to an address and the Twitter account holder would double the donation.

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EU Court of Justice Invalidates Privacy Shield

By Cameron Abbott, Claude Etienne-Armingaud, Rob Pulham, Michelle Aggromito and Keely O’Dowd

On the morning of 16 July 2020, in a significant decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the Privacy Shield was held to be invalid.

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500,000 car owner records found on dark web

By Cameron Abbott and Keely O’Dowd

Intelligence experts KELA recently announced that almost 500,000 customer records of different car suppliers were being offered for sale on the dark web by hacking group “KelvinSecurity Team”.

According to reports, almost 400,000 UK based BMW customers’ data is being sold on the online black market. This data includes the initials and surnames of car owners, home addresses, email addresses, the names of dealerships and car-registration information. The data of Mercedes, SEAT, Honda and Hyundai car owners also form part of the compromised customer records.

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Woolworths hit with largest SPAM infringement to date

By Cameron Abbott and Keely O’Dowd

Woolworths recently paid a $1 million infringement notice and agreed to a court-enforceable undertaking with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) in response to breaches of Australian Spam laws.

ACMA announced Woolworths had breached the Spam Act 2003 (Cth) (SPAM Act) more than five million times when it sent marketing emails to consumers after they had previously unsubscribed to Woolworths’ messages. ACMA’s investigation into Woolworths’ compliance with the SPAM Act revealed Woolworths’ systems, processes and practices were inadequate to comply with the Spam laws.

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“The best of its kind anywhere in the world today”: COVIDSafe among the safest tracing apps globally, study finds

By Cameron Abbott, Warwick Andersen, Rob Pulham and Rebecca Gill

In some positive news about the Federal Government’s COVIDSafe app, the University of Adelaide’s cybersecurity experts have assessed the Australian contact tracing app to be one of the best and safest among 34 apps used globally to track and trace COVID-19 cases.

A team from the University’s School of Computer Science made the judgment in a study which assessed Android versions of 34 of the world’s COVID-19 contact tracing apps for security and privacy vulnerabilities.

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