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    • ASD releases Windows 8 hardening guide windows-8-1

      The Australian Signals Directorate appears to have released a guide to hardening Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, three years after the software was released for use by corporate customers, and as Microsoft is slated to release its next upgrade, Windows 10.

    • ASG picks up $35m CIMIC IT services deal money

      Perth-headquartered IT services group ASG this week revealed it had picked up a deal worth at least $35 million over five years with CIMIC Group — the massive construction and contracting group previously known as Leighton Holdings.

  • News, Policy + Politics - Jul 27, 2015 19:32 - 3 Comments

    Brandis “alarmed” over Labor’s data retention review


    news Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis has raised the “alarm” over the Opposition’s decision to undertake a review of its support for the Government’s controversial Data Retention legislation, saying Labor must ‘stick to its word’ and continue to show support for the policy.

    On Friday Labor passed a motion at its National Conference that will see it formally review the Data Retention legislation passed earlier this year, adding to an existing planned review enshrined in the legislation itself. The motion was pushed by NSW State Labor MP Jo Haylen, who has links to the party’s left-wing faction, which has long been concerned about the data retention legislation.

    The motion changes Labor’s National Policy Platform to state that the party will “will review the retention of telecommunications data by carriage services providers under the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act and the regulation of access to telecommunications data by law enforcement and national security agencies.”

    But in a statement issued this evening, Senator Brandis — the architect, along with the Attorney-General’s Department, ASIO and the AFP — of the legislation, expressed grave concerns over Labor’s decision.

    “Alarmingly, the convention also cast doubt upon Labor’s support for mandatory data retention laws, which they supported in Parliament earlier this year,” Senator Brandis said.

    “Metadata is a vital investigative building block which is central to virtually every counter-terrorism, organised crime, counter-espionage, cyber-security and child exploitation investigation. It is used in almost every serious criminal investigation, including murder, rape and kidnapping.” Continue…

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    Enterprise IT, News - Jul 27, 2015 15:16 - 6 Comments

    ASD releases Windows 8 hardening guide


    news The Australian Signals Directorate appears to have released a guide to hardening Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, three years after the software was released for use by corporate customers, and as Microsoft is slated to release its next upgrade, Windows 10.

    The Australian Signals Directorate, which has the motto Reveal Their Secrets — Protect Our Own, is one of the key Federal Government agencies responsible for protecting the security of public sector IT systems. It publishes its Information Security Manual — the key document which consists of a standard governing the security of government IT systems — as well as a list of approved devices for use in Government, and manuals for hardening IT platforms so they can be securely used in Government.

    However, the agency is known for being substantially behind the times when it comes to approving modern technology to be upgraded.

    For example, ASD only approved Apple iPhone and iPad devices for use within the Federal Government in April 2012, almost four years after the iPhone first launched in Australia, and at a stage where Apple’s iOS platform was considered suitable for secure corporate deployments. The iPad, which runs the same iOS platform, launched in April 2010. Demand was so great for the Apple platforms within the Federal Government that a number of politicians and public servants bought their own personal device and were carrying two units — an official Government model, often a BlackBerry, and a personal Apple iPhone. Continue…

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    Industry, News - Jul 27, 2015 14:20 - 2 Comments

    iiNet shareholders vote ‘yes’ for TPG buyout


    news iiNet shareholders have overwhelmingly voted for the company to be acquired by rival TPG, with approval by the competition regulator and the Federal Court the two remaining conditions before the acquisition can take place.

    TPG initially made a $1.4 billion offer for iiNet in March this year, but subsequently raised its bid to a $1.56 billion cash and shares offer after a competing $1.6 billion all-share offer from rival telco M2 Group.

    There are substantial ongoing concerns regarding the TPG deal. iiNet founder Michael Malone, who founded iiNet in 1993 in his garage and built the company into a national concern, publicly called in March for the TPG deal to be rejected, and has contacted shareholders and executives to note that he supports M2’s rival offer. Malone has also called for a spill of iiNet’s board over the issue.

    In addition, some of iiNet’s institutional shareholders are not happy about the arrangement, and the deal is still the subject of an inquiry by the ACCC, which has expressed its own concerns with the arrangement. Macquarie Telecom has complained directly to the ACCC about the proposed merger.

    However, in a media release issued this afternoon, iiNet noted that its own shareholders had overwhelmingly voted in favour of the deal.

    “The Scheme received significant support from iiNet shareholders, with 95.09 percent voting for compared to 4.91 percent voting against the resolution,” the broadband provider said, “representing a total of 105,823,861 shares voted at the meeting.” Continue…

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    Blog, Consumer Tech - Jul 27, 2015 14:00 - 4 Comments

    Oops … Tesla enthusiast charges car on Qld windfarm


    blog If there is one thing that isn’t popular in Australian politics that isn’t too popular right now, it’s wind farms. These giant electricity-generating wonder machines represent some of the best clean energy around, but a number of MPs and Senators still suspect they can create negative health impacts. So we suspect the news that Australian Tesla enthusiasts have started charging their high-end electric vehicles from wind energy won’t go down too well in some Canberra circles. The Cairns Post reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):

    “Bribie Island resident Marc Talloen stopped by Ravenshoe’s Windy Hill to recharge his Tesla S85 on Friday, to promote renewable energy uptake … He said he was eager to always recharge at alternative energy providers, such as Ratch Australia’s Windy Hill wind farm, because it helped demonstrate the power and ease of renewable energy.”


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