Weekly News Roundup 23/11/2015

Hacker groups respond to Paris Attacks, MyGov digital security flaws continuing to cause concern and possessing plans to 3D print guns in NSW could result in 14 year jail term.

Hackers declare war on IS.
anon01In response to the attacks last week in Paris, Anonymous announced that it was “declaring war” against Islamic State and within 24 hours had taken down over 5000 accounts and exposed the data of some high ranking members of the radical group. While their operation netted early results and possible PR points with the wider public, the collective has drawn criticism from other parts of the intelligence community for being counter productive as well as wrongly reporting innocent people as Islamic State operatives.
Another group known as Ghost Security Group reported to be hackers that have split off from Anonymous has engaged their own program of spying on the extremist organisation instead of directly disrupting IS operations labeling the well known Anonymous as “Unsophisticated” in their approach.
Anonymous has also drawn criticism from another white hat hacker known as Jester who has been conducting his own online campaign against terrorist groups since 2010 has been critical of Anonymous’ claims and skill set.
These are typical results when you have a number of computer security experts all aiming for the same target and racing to claim the first major scalp.

MyGov website exposes private tax records through security flaw.
mygov-256Sydney IT professional JP Liew discovered the flaw after logging into the site to view his records to find that he was looking at his wife’s due to an issue with how the site retains login information to allow users to easily access multiple services through the site. The issue lies in a file known as a cookie which is used to authenticate the user automatically as they open services associated with MyGov. The problem gets worse as it seems as though the personnel tasked with supporting MyGov are not clear on who’s responsibility it is to correct the fault. This is a classic case of multiple committees having problems when it comes to deploying and supporting a service.
For the full story at SMH.com.au, click here.
For now, all users of MyGov are advised to only access their online records through the site with their own computers and to not use shared or public computers when performing online banking or other sensitive work online.

NSW outlaws digital blueprints for 3D printing firearms.
300px-Defence_Distributed_LiberatorA new amendment to the NSW Firearms Act 1996 now bans the possession of digital blueprints to weapons that could be produced on a 3D printer or milling machine.
This effectively brings the 3D printed firearm under the same definition as all other controlled weapons meaning that only authorised parties are allowed to maufacture firearms regardless of the technology used to complete the manufacture.
One of the most basic and well known 3D printed guns from Defense Distributed known as the Liberator is a mostly plastic handgun with only the firing pin the only metallic part, could be produced for around USD$25 to produce on a printer that could cost as little as a couple of thousand dollars and is capable of firing a single .22 cal round.
As 3D printers become more commercially available authorities are concerned that this could put unregistered and untraceable weapons in the wrong hands. For the ZDNet Article, click here. Also for the 3Dprint.com article on the same story, click here.

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