Last week, the Australian Government announced that it would propose new anti-terror laws that force telecommunications and multinational tech companies to give law enforcement agencies access to encrypted data of suspected criminals and terrorists.
Cyber Security Minister Angus Taylor said the laws would give police, intelligence and security agencies the ability to bypass encryption on messaging (such as private messages sent on Whatsapp and Facebook), phone calls, photos, location and apps.
By Cameron Abbott and Sarah Goegan
We all know that cybersecurity incidents can cost your organisation a lot of money, but exactly how much? A report by Frost and Sullivan has found that losses from cyberattacks in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) could reach a staggering US$1.75 trillion, nearly 7 per cent of the region’s gross domestic product in 2017. As covered in our blog last week, the cost of cyber scams alone in Australia totalled $340 million AUD last year.
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.
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.
By Cameron Abbott and Sarah Goegan
Cambridge Analytica, the data company embroiled in the Facebook privacy scandal, is closing down. The firm’s parent company, SCL Elections, announced that it and some of its affiliates including Cambridge Analytica had commenced insolvency proceedings in the UK, and would immediately cease all operations.
In a statement, Cambridge Analytica said it had been “vilified” and the subject of “numerous unfounded accusations” about its activities, which it says are legal and widely accepted in online advertising. It blamed negative media coverage of allegations the company improperly used the data of 87 million Facebook users (which you can read about here, here and here) for a mass exodus of clients.
Russian hackers are accused of penetrating up to 400 Australian businesses in 2017 as part of an alleged state-sponsored cyber-espionage campaign, targeting millions of computers across the world.
The Australian government made the announcement in light of an extraordinary joint statement from the US and UK governments pointing a stern finger at Russia for sponsoring cyber-attacks on government, private organisations, critical infrastructure providers and internet services providers.
It’s been just over 6 weeks since the government’s notifiable data breach scheme came into force and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has revealed it has received 63 reports of data breaches since the scheme’s start date of February 22. The figure released as part of the OAIC’s first quarterly report on the scheme.
This is somewhat of a stark contrast to the 114 voluntary notifications for data breaches received by the OAIC in the 2016-17 financial year, before the scheme was in place.