Weekly Tech News Roundup 24/4/2017

Ransomware has Aussies in the crosshairs, Italian court rules that cell phones cause cancer, Australian Govt to force telcos to block malware.

In the Asia Pacific region, Australians are big, juicy targets for ransomware.

In fact, Australian businesses are the biggest targets and are at more risk than any other demographic in the entire region.
This is due to the relatively high income and high rate of technology adoption resulting in reports of up to 60% of Australian businesses were affected by a ransomware incident in 2016 with around 25% experiencing an attempted ransomware attack every month.

Even though Australian businesses were the most likely to pay the ransom one in three never got their files back.

According to Kate Carnell, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman the challenge lies in showing businesses are easy targets if they have not adopted simple and inexpensive procedures to protect data and systems.

I am also pushing to get businesses better equipped to meet the challenges of cyber security by providing up to 4 free talks per month to be presented at business networking events in partnership with BankVault Online. If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact me.

For more of this story head over to news.com.au.

Italian Court rules heavy phone use caused cancer.

Robert Romero used a mobile phone for 3 hours a day for 15 years while working for a telecoms company and in 2010 was diagnosed with having a benign tumour in his right ear. This flies in the face of existing evidence that there is no link between RF radiation from cellular phones and health issues including cancer.

This article in NewScientist.com goes on to talk about the story and how the ruling seems to ignore the existing scientific findings surrounding cell phone radiation.

While there is no hard evidence to support the Italian courts findings, the World Health Organisation has taken a cautious approach in 2011 and listed mobile phones as “possibly carcinogenic” which is a pretty broad list ranging from Lead to Aloe Vera whole leaf extract and¬†Magnetic Fields. For the whole list, have a look here.

So despite current knowledge that non-ionising raditaion has no substantial link to causing cancer, this court has decided to rule in favour of the plaintiff.

“Stop the malware.” AU Gov to ISPs.

This story covered by itNewsAllie Coyne reveals that the Australian government is considering introducing legislation that will hold telecommunications companies responsible for keeping malware, spam and viruses from traversing their networks.

While it is admirable that Cyber Minister Dan Tehan recognises the cyber threat to Australia it is hard to imagine how this legislation designed to remove the legal roadblocks that prevent the telecommunications to take a more active role in cyber security would translate to a working solution.

With the memory of the Government’s previous attempt to implement a national web filter still fresh, criticism of the plan is not hard to find.

John Stanton of the Communications Alliance has labelled the governments proposals “unrealistic”.

Not only do I find the governments considerations overly simplistic, I think it is trying to apply a technology solution to address what is largely caused by human behavior and end users failing to properly secure systems with security updates.