Extrema Ratio focuses on the topics we work on, including cybersecurity, critical technologies, foreign interference & disinformation.
Financial data group Ion Markets has suffered a cyber attack that has affected parts of the vital financial plumbing that underlies the vast derivatives trading industry. Financial Times
The Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies marks the latest move by US President Joe Biden to work more closely with allies and partners to counter China. Financial Times
Chinese authorities imposed a new cyber law in Tibet that went into effect Wednesday, with the government announcing tougher punishments for anyone creating “public disorder by engaging in separatist acts.” Radio Free Asia
Cyber attack at financial data group Ion affects derivatives trading Financial Times Nikou Asgari, Harry Dempsey, Stephen Morris and Nicholas Megaw Financial data group Ion Markets has suffered a cyber attack that has affected parts of the vital financial plumbing that underlies the vast derivatives trading industry. The Dublin-based company said its cleared derivatives unit was hit by a “cyber security event” on Tuesday. It said the incident was “contained to a specific environment, all the affected servers are disconnected, and remediation of services is ongoing”.
Cyber funding set to surge in light of high-profile breaches ITBrief Shannon Williams Cyber funding is set to surge in light of high-profile breaches, with Australian cybersecurity funding to increase 22%, according to a new study. Following a survey of Australian Chief Financial Officers, local research and advisory organisation, ADAPT, has released the results of its forward-looking 2023 CFO Edge survey, which outlines the top priorities for heads of finance for the 2023-2024 financial year.
How Aussie Open servers repelled cyber attacks NT News Tennis Australia's cyber security partner, CyberCX, thwarted numerous threats at the Australian Open, the company has revealed. Despite an onslaught of malicious activity, the Open’s inaugural cyber security partner says it’s avoided a Medibank or Optus-style breach.
Australia out of top 10 ransomware targeted countries Australian Cyber Security Magazine Bitdefender’s Threat Debrief report has been released, examining cyber-attacks detected throughout December 2022. The report explores the most prevalent ransomware families, countries experiencing the most ransomware attacks, the most popular Android trojans being used by cybercriminals, and domains being targeted with spoof attacks (where attackers impersonate a legitimate URL).
Cultivating a cyber mindset Technology Decisions Michael Edwald With cybersecurity so dominant in the headlines, Minister for Cyber Security Clare O’Neil was prompted to take action and set a target for Australia to be the most cyber-secure nation by 2030 — a very ambitious goal given our current standing, but one I applaud her for. As a nation, we must seek to do better and set ambitious targets for ourselves.
China imposes new cybersecurity rules in Tibet Radio Free Asia Chinese authorities imposed a new cyber law in Tibet that went into effect Wednesday, with the government announcing tougher punishments for anyone creating “public disorder by engaging in separatist acts.” Dawa Tsering, the director of the India-based Tibet Policy Institute, told RFA that “there are no proper guidelines on which the Chinese government has grounded these regulations in Tibet.”
Is China's about-face real? Better ask the Chinese Bloomberg Minxin Pei The [Chinese] government needs to reverse urgently some of the measures that have badly shaken the private sector. The party should abandon the use of “golden shares” to control private firms. Recently an investment fund of the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s cyber censor, purchased a small stake in a subsidiary of the e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. that could allow the government to appoint a director of the unit’s board.
New requirements for outbound data transfers from China JD Supra Xue Feng and Renee Phil-Agbasi The Cybersecurity Administration of China has published guidelines concerning outbound data transfers of personal information and "important data" from China to other jurisdictions. Businesses must comply with these new measures and guidelines by 1 March 2023 or risk facing administrative, civil and criminal penalties.
Chip war: Japan and Netherlands expected to join US in ban on tech exports to China The Guardian A Washington official has made the most direct comments by a US authority to date acknowledging the existence of a deal with Japan and the Netherlands for those countries to impose new restrictions on exports of chipmaking tools to China.
Biden appoints new supply chain risk cyber chief SupplyChain Sean Ashcroft The US Government's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is building out a new supply chain risk management office to help agencies, industry and other partners to act on the raft of new cybersecurity regulations, guidance and policies. The new office falls under CISA's jurisdiction, and is led by Shon Lyublanovits, a former General Services Administration, an independent US government agency that supports all federal agencies.
The problem with taking TikTok away from Americans The New York Times Glenn S. Gerstell A ban of TikTok throughout the United States, if it could actually be enacted, would immediately solve our national security concerns about the wildly popular Chinese-owned video app. But such a ban might actually ultimately put our national security at greater risk.
Crypto thefts hit record $3.8 billion last year on North Korean hacks Bloomberg Jeff Stone Thieves stole a record $3.8 billion worth of cryptocurrency in 2022 as sanctions on North Korea drove a surge in suspected hacking by the Asian nation. Overall crypto losses increased from $3.3 billion stolen in 2021, blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis said in a report published Wednesday.
Seoul, Washington team up to stop NK's cryptocurrency theft The Korea Times Lee Hae-rin South Korea and the United States have worked closely to shut down North Korea's cryptocurrency networks as the North tried to finance its nuclear and missile programs by deviating from international sanctions, U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Philip Goldberg said Wednesday.
Internet crawls as four undersea cables need repairs VnExpress Luu Quy Four out of five undersea cables connecting Vietnam to the world are broken in one way or another, causing internet speeds across the country to slow to a snail’s pace. There was a breakage at a cable section located about 130 km from a shoreline station in Singapore, causing a total loss of international data from Vietnam to Singapore through the IA cable.
South & Central Asia
US and India launch ambitious tech and defence initiatives Financial Times Demetri Sevastopulo and John Reed The Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies marks the latest move by US President Joe Biden to work more closely with allies and partners to counter China. It follows an agreement between Biden and India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, to create the initiative when they met in Tokyo in May 2022.
Fact Sheet: United States and India elevate strategic partnership with the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology The White House President Biden and Prime Minister Modi announced the U.S.-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) in May 2022 to elevate and expand our strategic technology partnership and defense industrial cooperation between the governments, businesses, and academic institutions of our two countries.
Galwan to Leh police report—Modi govt’s censoring information, China-style The Print Lt General Prakash Menon Overall, weakening transparency in governance has been a growing trend and is personified in multiple efforts to control the information space. Even data on Covid deaths was distorted. The latest example is the attempt to empower the Press Information Bureau to identify and neutralise ‘fake news’. In many ways, freedom, the key pillar of democracy and a constitutional right, is under assault.
Europe to tackle cyber in new law The Cyber Edge by Signal Diego Laje The European Union is drafting a groundbreaking directive to tackle cybersecurity and data privacy, as well as the Internet of Things. This draft is a direct response to risks, as the text clarifies in its opening sentence: “Hardware and software products are increasingly subject to successful cyberattacks.”
Israel’s cyber security chief blames Iran for cyberattacks The Siasat Daily Abdul Rahman Gaby Portnoy, Director-General of Israel National Cyber Directorate, has accused Iran of “leading an aggressive, orchestrated campaign against Israel’s cyberspace”. Portnoy made the remarks on Tuesday at the annual CyberTech Global conference held in the coastal city of Tel Aviv with the participation of hundreds of companies, startups, government entities, and organizations.
Inside three turbulent months at Foxconn’s iPhone factory Rest of World Viola Zhou The atmosphere was particularly tense this past peak season [at Foxconn]. Covid-19 outbreaks that disrupted production lines and a labor protest that pitted workers against riot police caused the factory to fall behind on its iPhone 14 Pro orders. Dan Ives, a tech analyst at U.S.-based financial services company Wedbush Securities, estimated that, during the crisis, Apple was losing out on $1 billion per week in iPhone sales.
Report: Microsoft plans to update Bing with a faster version of ChatGPT in the coming weeks TechCrunch Aisha Malik Microsoft is working to incorporate a faster version of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, known as GPT-4, into Bing in the coming weeks in a move that would make the search engine more competitive with Google, according to a new report from Semafor. The integration would see Bing using GPT-4 to answer search queries.
Cyber experts work to write code in safer languages The Washington Post Tim Starks Memory has to be allocated for computer code to carry out instructions, and some older programming languages allow developers to move that memory around manually. “That freedom also creates risk, allowing a variety of bugs,” an Atlantic Council paper explained last year. By contrast, newer programming languages — such as Python, Java and Rust — allocate the memory automatically. Many of them either virtually eliminate memory-safety errors or are designed to make them impossible.
Events & Podcasts
What WSIS is and why WSIS+20 matters .auDA A moment of change is coming in the internet governance system, with a key 2025 event attracting growing attention as an opportunity to re-found internet and technology governance for the 2030s and beyond. The WSIS+20 review could mark a turning point where the technology community and broader social forces come together to shape a new, updated agenda for digital governance.