WA Auditor General recommends inter-agency cooperation to counter malware

ZDNet

Western Australia's Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has made six recommendations to state government agencies after it was found six agencies had previously been the target of malware campaigns. According to the OAG, the six agencies probed -- which included the Department of the Attorney General, Department of Mines and Petroleum, Department of Transport, Main Roads Western Australia, and the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) -- were under constant threat, which it said highlighted the need for improved central governance arrangements to identify, warn of, and prevent attacks. In its report [PDF], Malware in the WA State Government, the OAG said as a result of the audit, it made "detailed recommendations" to each agency that came under the microscope. The explicit details were not published, but instead, the OAG offered up the broader six recommendations it made, which included an in-depth assessment of the risk to the agency malware poses, improving any controls the OAG identified as ineffective, and that each agency consider additional controls to better secure its networks, systems, and data against malware. TPG to focus on FttB, mobile, corporate business to manage NBN margin squeeze Productivity Commission draft report calls time on USO as NBN looms Risk vs. Opportunity: Data use and availability in Australia NSW government seeks partner to trial Uber-like public transport Optus inks AU$40m contract extension with security firm Suretek Under the careful watch of the OGCIO, the Auditor General said it wants to see the WA public sector consider methods to foster "collaboration, information, and resource sharing" between agencies.


Service NSW now accepts Android Pay for government services

ZDNet

The New South Wales government has launched an integration with Google's Android Pay, allowing customers to use the digital platform to pay for government services at all Service NSW centres across the state. Currently, Android Pay is only available in shopfronts, with the state government confirming plans to make the platform available on Service NSW's digital stores, website, and app. "Around 90 percent of people now have a mobile phone, and with the popularity of Android phones, it makes sense for us to provide this quick, efficient option for our customers," NSW Minister for Finance, Services, and Property Dominic Perrottet said in a statement. Currently, Android Pay is only supported by American Express, Macquarie Bank, MyState, Teachers Mutual Bank, and ANZ, after the first of the big four banks launched its partnership with the Android wallet in July. At the time, Pali Bhat, Google senior director for product management, said there are plans to partner with more banks in Australia, including St George and Westpac.


Newcrest blazing a trail with big data

#artificialintelligence

Addressing the South Australian government's recent Copper to the World conference in Adelaide, Newcrest's chief information and digital officer, Gavin Wood, gave a rundown on what had already been achieved at Newcrest with data science, virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence. He also talked about the benefits delivered by crowd sourcing, although this can also create some unique challenges of its own. "If you can imagine, an experienced operator at a site being told by a university student in Argentina the answer for optimising their part of the plant is quite different to something they believe from their experience of 20 or so years. Those are real challenges for our business," Wood said. He said data science coupled with machine learning had alr...


Crowdfunding campaign leads to major discovery of healthy Tasmanian devils

Mashable

Tasmanian devils are on the brink of extinction, but there's a glimmer of hope. Scientists exploring Tasmania's southwest wilderness discovered a group of the animals that so far appears to be completely free of the contagious cancer that is ravaging the rest of the population. According to the Tasmanian government, a team led by Dr. Sam Fox trapped 14 healthy devils free of Devil Facial Tumour Disease -- a cancer that spreads from devil to devil and results in the marsupials' death. The Independent reports that, since the discovery of the disease, the population of wild devils has declined by 80 percent. So yeah, this is a big deal.


Facial surveillance not a concern for 2 in 3 Australians: Morgan poll

ZDNet

An SMS survey conducted by polling company Roy Morgan over the last weekend has found that most respondents were not concerned by Australia's upcoming facial recognition system, with 67.5 percent stating they were unconcerned. Roy Morgan asked the question -- "Under anti-terror measures, state governments will provide driver licence photos for mass facial recognition technology. Does this concern you?" -- and found that the younger each cohort was, the more concerned they were, but no one age bracket had a majority of respondents who were more concerned than not. Broken down by state, the most concerned were Victoria and NSW, with 38 percent and 34 percent, respectively. Queensland and South Australia tied as the least concerned, with less than a quarter of respondents concerned.