Popular: Stories about the various iterations of the NBN were a hit. Photo: Glenn Hunt
With the end of the year gone, we take a look at the IT Pro stories that captured your imagination in 2013.
People are captivated by the national broadband network (NBN), so it is no surprise that coverage of it continued to be one of the most popular IT Pro topics this year, accounting for a number of top stories, but it was three security-related articles that captured the most attention.
Stories related to technology job losses, data breaches and the NSA spying scandal also rated highly, as did a story about Yahoo!'s decision to ban staff from working remotely. Yahoo!'s acquisition of social networking website Tumblr for $US1.1 billion also rated highly.
Choices: What were you reading in 2013? Photo: iStock
You can re-read them, or enjoy them for the first time, by following the links.
Australian bank Westpac was caught up in an international money laundering sting in May when US prosecutors announced what they said was the biggest international money laundering prosecution in history – a $US6 billion ($6.2 billion) trail that allegedly included $US36.9 million ($38.4 million) deposited in Westpac accounts.The trail was allegedly left by Costa Rica-based Liberty Reserve, a currency-transfer and payment-processing company that allowed customers to move money anonymously from one account to another via the internet.
Barnaby Jack, the man who became known for finding security flaws in medical devices such as pacemakers, and who was able to make money fly out of ATMs, died in July, aged 35.
A report by computer security firm Mandiant in February identified a Shanghai office block about 40 minutes outside the city centre, unit 61398, as the nerve centre of one of the world's most dangerous military cyber-hacking operations. Analysts traced more than 100 attacks on government departments, companies and journalists to the site of the 12-storey building.
In April, not long after a Google executive said working from the office was "magical", Yahoo! asked its workers to begin working from the office instead of from home. Debate followed.
Also in April, readers debated whether they wanted about 60,000 cabinets installed on footpaths under the Coalition's NBN plan. The mix of technologies to be used in the Coalition's NBN remains subject to review.
One of the largest cyber attacks in history caused widespread congestion and jammed crucial internet infrastructure around the world in May after a squabble erupted between a group fighting spam and a Dutch company that allegedly hosted websites that were sending spam. The dispute started when the spam-fighting group, Spamhaus, added the Dutch company Cyberbunker to its blacklist, which is used by email providers to weed out spam. It resulted in Cyberbunker firing so-called denial of service, or DDoS, attacks at Spamhaus that reached previously unknown magnitudes, growing to a data stream of 300 gigabits per second.
A website created to compare the broadband policies of both major political parties and founded by a Liberal voter in the lead-up to the September election found support from the Labor party as it portrayed their version of the NBN in a positive light. But Malcolm Turnbull, then opposition spokesman for broadband and now Communications Minister, said the site was misleading.
Fears were raised in February about the security of Australian taxpayers' information after four tax agents' account details were illegally used by third parties. Tax agents warned that with access to their log-ins, a criminal gained access to their existing clients. Some agents also warned that a fraudster could potentially access every Australian taxpayer's information if they knew four pieces of information about a person. The Australian Taxation Office denied that all Australians' tax information was put at risk however did not disputed the agents' claims.
When Adam Ezekiel couldn't get a job he made recruiters hand over their files on him under privacy laws. He found one had labelled him as "arrogant", a judgment he believed resulted in automatic blacklisting for jobs through that agency. Another pegged him as a "genius".
Data breaches occurred all year round and Telstra wasn't immune. After a Google search for a technical code, one Sydneysider discovered the personal details of thousands of Telstra account holders. Telstra swiftly removed the details after it was notified they were online.
What were your favourite stories of 2013? Let us know in the comments.