Monthly Archives: August 2013

In Historic Vote, New Zealand Bans Software Patents

Patent claims can’t cover computer programs “as such.”

by – Aug 29 2013, 5:50am AEST – Originally published: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/08/in-historic-vote-new-zealand-bans-software-patents/#! 

A major new patent bill, passed in a 117-4 vote by New Zealand’s Parliament after five years of debate, has banned software patents.

The relevant clause of the patent bill actually states that a computer program is “not an invention.” Some have suggested that was a way to get around the wording of the TRIPS intellectual property treaty, which requires patents to be “available for any inventions, whether products or processes, in all fields of technology.” Continue reading

New York Times subject to attack

The New York Times went offline earlier this week (August 27) following a suspected hacking.

Not only were subscribers unable to read online content, but workers at the publication were forced to be extra vigilant when sending emails, the paper confirmed.

This is the second time this month that the website was shut down, which chief information officer Marc Frons said was "the result of a malicious external attack".

Continue reading

Vulnerability management ‘spurred by high-profile threats’


August 28, 2013

Vulnerability management in the Asia-Pacific region has become more important as organisations look to protect themselves against high-profile cyber threats.

This is according to new research by Frost & Sullivan, which revealed this trend has seen spending on the distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection market surge.

The organisation’s data found the market earned revenues of US$117.2 million (AU$130.5 million) last year, but this is estimated to rise to US$327 million by 2016. Continue reading

Public consultation launched on Australian Privacy Principles

The Australian Privacy Principles, due to come into force in March next year, have officially been released for public consultation.

Australian information commissioner John McMillan and privacy commissioner Timothy Pilgrim launched the consultation, which relates to new laws encouraging greater transparency in the management of personal information.

“This will give people a better understanding of how their personal information will be handled so that they can make an informed decision about interacting with the entities covered by the Privacy Act,” said Professor McMillan. Continue reading

Pinterest security flaw uncovered

Pinterest has been made aware of a security flaw that could make the personal details of its users accessible to anyone.

Security researcher Dan Melamed discovered the issue, which makes the email address of anybody on Pinterest visible, simply by providing a username or ID.

The expert has recommended that the site checks the owner of the access token against the user whose information has been requested, which would help ensure that data does not end up in the wrong hands. Continue reading

ANZ customers warned of email scam


August 27, 2013

Customers of the ANZ Banking Group have been warned not to open spam emails claiming that their accounts have been suspended.

The emails ask recipients to call a phone number based in Sydney in order to have their accounts restored – but this could lead to a follow-up call to a high tariff number, leading money to be drained from customers.

Kaspersky Lab researchers are calling this ‘callware’ and warned that individuals could be encouraged to give out banking information over the phone. Continue reading

UNSW’s online computer security competition, sponsored by Securus Global

We’re proud to be sponsoring the University of New South Wales Computer Security Competition. Open to all university, TAFE, and high school students with an interest in computer security and problem solving.

The competition will run continuously for 24 hours, starting at 10am (Sydney time), Saturday, September 28, 2013. The competition is run online, meaning teams can compete from any location. Continue reading

NSF makes significant investment in cyber security


August 23, 2013

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has granted $20 million of funding to three projects that will research cyber security measures.

Farnam Jahanian, NSF’s assistant director for computer and information science and engineering, acknowledged that these attacks are one of the “most significant economic and national security challenges facing our nation today”.

The NSF has already been supporting this research in the US for more than a decade, which it hopes to continue through the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program. Continue reading