IT News

 

FBI confirms North Korea behind Sony hack

No sense of humour ... North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's regime has been blamed for launching cyber attacks on Sony Pictures over The Interview and threatening US cinemas that screen it.

Elizabeth Weise and Kevin Johnson 5:35 AM   The FBI confirmed on Friday that North Korea was behind the cyber attacks on Sony Pictures.

Sony cyberattack: North Korea confrontation possible as US mulls response

Pointing the finger: The US is privately blaming North Korea for launching cyber attacks on Sony Pictures over <i>The Interview</i>.

Peter Baker   The United States is weighing up how it should react to the cyberattack on Sony Pictures, an official says, while Sony executives apparently thought the offending film was "desperately unfunny".

Broadband

Telstra secures $390 million contract to design multi-tech NBN

The core deal sees Telstra retain a net present value of about $11 billion.

Telstra has secured a contract to provide planning and design for the national broadband network worth up to $390 million.

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Security

Explainer: What you need to know about the latest Sony hack

Pulled: The Interview will no longer be screened in cinemas.

Ben Grubb   So much has happened since hackers began publishing data stolen from Sony Pictures Entertainment's computer network late November, it's hard to keep up.

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Encryption

Australian company claims it can stop data leaks with encryption

Cryptic: Would you protect your corporate secrets with encryption alone?

Matthew Hall   Despite high profile¬†damaging data breaches, a clear strategy for cybersecurity remains elusive.

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Antitrust

Google Android antitrust lawsuit too vague, US judge says

Android phones are hampered by anti-competitive Google rules, users say.

Dan Levine   Claims that Google's Android rules restrict competing apps and therefore raise the price of phones are speculative and need more facts, judge says.

Hack

North Korea was 'centrally involved' in Sony Hacking, US says

Hacked: Sony Pictures Entertainment.

David E. Sanger, Nicole Perlroth   US intelligence officials have concluded that the North Korean government was "centrally involved" in the recent attacks on Sony Pictures' computers,

Cloud

Telstra eyes undersea cable company Pacnet

Telstra

Telstra is in talks to buy the company that owns the world's largest private submarine cable network, Pacnet.

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Predictions

Top technology challenges for 2015 - Part 1

Uber

Cynthia Karena   Among the many technological challenges to come in 2015, the advice from the experts is the same as it ever was - digitally transform your business or get tossed aside.

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Hack

Ex-Sony Pictures employees sue company as CEO's emails apparently latest to leak

Hacked: Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The latest anonymous post claiming to be from hacking group Guardians of Peace appears to contain links to thousands of Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton's email.

Security

Counting the real cost of cyber attacks

Invisible enemy: Target US was a victim of a massive security breach last year. In Australia, companies do not have to disclose breaches, but the losses they suffer every year have been quantified by a Ponemon study.

Stuart Corner   Cyber attacks are costing large Australian enterprises up to $8.3 million a year, but the real costs could be much higher.

Broadband

The real broadband benefit? Spend $1, get $5 back

A global report on broadband paints a rosier picture of economic benefits down the line.

Hannah Francis   Rolling out a national fixed broadband network by 2030 can boost a nation's economy by $5 for every $1 invested, a new report shows.

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Entrepreneurship

University of Melbourne fights Steve Wozniak's star power with speed

Dr Peter Binks, whose background is in astrophysics and nanotechnology, is now chief executive of the University of Melbourne's Wade Institute, which is offering a new Master of Entrepreneurship program.

Beverley Head   Australia's top ranking university thinks it will take more than celebrity lecturers such as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to attract postgraduate entrepreneurs.

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Smartphones

The rise of a new smartphone giant

A customer examines a product of Xiaomi, which is now China's No. 1 maker of smartphones, in Beijing.

Paul Mozur, Shanshan Wang   In China, the smartphone battle used to be Samsung versus Apple. But not anymore.

Strategy

New Nokia Australia head talks up company's prospects

The brand might disappear off smartphones, but Nokia still hopes to continue connecting people, through its network equipment and the Internet of Things.

Stuart Corner   Cellular networks, internet of things, virtualisation... Nokia still has much to look forward to according to Ray Owen.

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Virtualisation

VMWare to virtualise network next

cloud

Lia Timson   Cloud computing is growing at an incredible pace in Australia, but, if not careful, companies risk adding unnecessary complexity to their IT systems.

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Broadband

NBN Co's new Telstra deal is as good as NBN will get

The federal government has thwarted plans by private companies to force high-rise buildings

Paul Budde   While we can argue Australia will have a second-rate version of a National Broadband Network, the reality is that with the new $11 billion deal with Telstra inked, this will be as good as it will get for the foreseeable future.

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Rangers to use helicopter drones to fight weeds

A 3.6 metre long remote-controlled helicopter will tackle one the country's most noxious weeds: blackberry.

The 3.6 metre long remote-controlled Yamaha helicopter will be equipped with two 10 litre tanks of herbicide.

Tariffs

IT free trade deal collapses

WTO

Jonathan Weisman, Paul Mozur   Geneva talks on technology trade collapsed in acrimony, a sign that China is still unwilling to open its markets to competition where it is most vulnerable.

NBN

Telstra, NBN in new deal to speed up rollout

NBN roll-out

Old Telstra and Optus pay-TV cables will be used to roll out the National Broadband Network quicker and cheaper, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull says.

Innovation

Australia could be a leader in titanium processing: CSIRO

Titanium dragon

Drew Turney   Titanium has been talked about everywhere from 3D printing and heavy industrial parts to the cyborg exoskeleton in the 1987 film Robocop, now moves are afoot to establish a new refining process that could make Australia a titanium leader.

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2014: The year of the CIO reshuffle

Will the CIO musical chairs continue in 2015?

Sylvia Pennington   This year has seen a string of Australian chief inforamtion officers saying 'so long, farewell' to their employers.

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Trade

Crunch time for WTO's trillion-dollar IT free trade deal

WTO

A trillion dollar deal at the World Trade Organisation to reduce tariffs in the vast information technology sector may not come off.

Pipeline blast in Turkey opened new cyberwar era

Revealed as a cyber attack: Firemen struggle to extinguish the fire at the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline near the eastern Turkish city of Erzincan on August 7, 2008.

Jordan Robertson and Michael Riley   A pipeline blast near a Turkish town in 2008 was probably one of the first shots in the cyberwar era, US intelligence officials say.

Workplace

Anonymous app Unsaid wants to air corporate dirty laundry

Unsaid logo

Lia Timson   Forget Facebook, Yammer, Chatter and Slack, office workers now have a chance to air their grievances and gossip via an anonymous social network app designed just for them.

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Women in tech

Pinterest engineer codes to close the Silicon Valley gender gap

Pinterest engineer Tracy Chou in Melbourne.

Hannah Francis   Software engineering is about to face a serious skills shortage, and Tracy Chou knows where to find the right candidates.

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First fruits of joint Apple and IBM crop now in harvest

According to Apple, Passenger+ lets flight crews offer personalised services to passengers in-flight, including offers and re-booking.

Brandon Bailey   Retail and aviation apps among the new offerings from Apple and IBM for business customers.

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Pyne urged to reconsider technology teaching from early years

Tech teaching: Marita Cheng has joined the chorus of employers, educators and industry bodies that want technology taught from the early years.

Sylvia Pennington   Technology education from early years will enable future generation of wealth creators, former Young Australian of the Year Marita Cheng says.

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Security

Seven lessons from the Sony Pictures hack

Beyonce.

Ben Grubb   One of the biggest known corporate hacking incidents to date has taught Sony Pictures and the rest of the world a few lessons.

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Diversity

Apple, Microsoft, Amazon refuse to release full US diversity data

Close-lipped on diversity: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Jessica Guynn   Apple and Amazon, two of technology's most powerful companies, are refusing to release US data on the diversity of their workforces.

'Atrocious, mobile sucks': Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman on what site has become

Moving on: Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman says the celebrity hacking controversy "was tough to watch."

Matthew Hall   Steve Huffman has some regrets about selling Reddit when he did.

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Billionaires pump big bucks into petition site Change.org

Empowering social activists: Ben Rattray

Rose Powell   Online petition site Change.org is in the business of social change but unlike many of their fellow social change campaigners battling budget cuts, it's turning out to be a remarkably profitable.

Leaders

Mark Zuckerberg snapped with Chinese President's book

Mark Zuckerberg and China's internet regulator Lu Wei in California. The book is visible in lower right.

A Chinese government news portal has released a photo of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with a copy of Chinese President Xi Jinping's book on governance at his desk while hosting a top internet regulator from China, known for tight censorship.

e-tail

Robots catch on at one of Australia's biggest e-commerce site

Catch Group head of logistics Jon Northorpe (left) and founder Gabby Leibovich on a cherry picker overseeing the company's $20 million investment in warehouse robots.

Hannah Francis   He makes a living selling you bargains you don't need, now Gabby Leibovich has put $20 million into robots to speed up your orders.

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Onshore

Microsoft Office 365 steps onto Australian cloud promising data stays onshore

Transition: Improved apps and extra storage make Microsoft's Office 365 more attractive than ever.

Beverley Head   Executives and public servants afraid of putting their documents on an overseas cloud have been assured their data will not leave Australia after March.

Queensland police to get 'Star Wars-type technology'

Robocop Queensland Police hat

Amy Remeikis   Police Commissioner Ian Stewart sees the future of Queensland policing looking a lot like Robocop.¬†

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Cyberwar

Taiwan a canary in the coalmine of cyber warfare

hacker

Chris Zappone   So hacked are Taiwan's computers that some government employees are issued with two - one connected to the internet, and a second that remains offline for security reasons.

Start-ups

Start-ups and failure porn: there's too much celebration and too little fear

You don't hear about the thousands of start-ups that never recover from a failure, but they're out there.

Geoff Lewis   The idea that failures are to be valued and not feared is discouraging start-ups and their founders from believing in their visions.

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Hack

North Korea calls Sony Pictures hack a 'righteous deed'

'Supreme leadership': North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Choe Sang-Hun   North Korea has denied responsibility for hacking the computers of Sony Pictures but appeared to relish the cyberattack that crippled the computer systems of the Hollywood company, which is set to release a comedy involving an assassination attempt of its leader, Kim Jong Un.