NSW govt seeks input on next cyber security strategy – Strategy – Security- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The NSW government is seeking views from industry to help shape the state’s next cyber security strategy ahead of its launch later this year.
Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello on Tuesday called for input from industry partners and cyber security experts as development of the 2020 NSW Cyber Security Strategy ramps up.
The strategy will replace NSW’s 2018 cyber security strategy, which was the first to be released by the government and introduced a holistic approach to incident prevention and response.
It will also replace the separate, industry-focused cyber security strategy released by the government in November 2018 to support the growth of the state’s cyber security industry.
Dominello said involving industry experts and businesses in the new stategy’s development process was important to encourage the state’s vibrant cyber security industry.
He said the “comprehensive, sector-wide” strategy would ensure the government “continues to provide secure, trusted and resilient services in an ever-changing and developing environment”.
“The new strategy will be delivered through an integrated approach to prevent and respond to cyber security threats and safeguard our information, assets, services, businesses and citizens,” he said.
The strategy is also central to the state’s COVID-19 recovery, with $240 million allocated to cyber security over the next three years as part of a $1.6 billion investment in digital.
“The 2020 NSW Cyber Security Strategy will address the cyber workforce and skills gaps that are vital in attracting business investment and creating innovation jobs,” Dominello said.  
“It will support innovation and growth of the NSW cyber industry and cement NSW as the leading state for cyber security in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Cyber security will be a vital part of the technology community at Tech Central which will be a home for tech giants, new and innovative start-ups and leading talent all in one place.” 
Industry partners and cyber security experts can send their submission to the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy by emailing [email protected].

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EU Commission seeks feedback to extending rules ending roaming fees – Telco/ISP- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The European Commission has sought feedback to its planned extension of rules which ended mobile roaming charges across the bloc three years ago, with the move likely to trigger battles between telecoms operators on wholesale price caps.
While EU users do not pay additional charges when making a call, sending a text message or surfing the internet when travelling within the bloc, telecoms providers still have to pay wholesale fees to their counterparts in other countries that connect them.
Wholesale price caps were substantially reduced in 2017, along with the bloc’s adoption of the roaming regulation which ended roaming charges.
The regulation will expire on June 30 next year.
Operators in northern European countries, whose citizens tend to go abroad for holidays, are keen to pay lower wholesale price caps to networks in southern holiday destinations.
Companies in Mediterranean countries on the other hand are more likely to lobby to keep such caps as high as possible so they can invest in networks to accommodate peak demand during the holiday season.
In its feedback to the Commission’s impact assessment of the roaming rules last year, Deutsche Telekom said wholesale rates should not be reduced because commercially agreed discounts meant these are already significantly below the caps.
The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) in turn wants to further reduce the wholesale price caps to boost mobile virtual network operators which piggyback on rivals’ networks.
The Commission said companies, governments, experts, regulators and users have until Sept. 11 to provide feedback.

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VW seeks open source approach to refine car OS – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Volkswagen wants to use an open source approach to refine elements of a software-based car operating system being developed by the carmaker, Christian Senger, its board member responsible for digital services and software, said.
With the advent of autonomous driving, carmakers have been forced to link up radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors and connect them to braking and steering components, something which requires thousands of lines of software code.
“There is a race to create automotive operating systems. We are seeing that many non-automotive players are building up competence in this area,” Senger told Reuters.
By 2025, VW wants to increase its own share of software development on its cars to 60 percent, from 10 percent at present, and to design the electronics and vehicle architecture as well.
Volkswagen board member Thomas Ulbrich said in March that US electric car manufacturer Tesla has a 10-year start on rivals when it comes to building electric cars and software.
“In future there will likely be fewer automotive operating systems than carmakers,” Senger explained.
Volkswagen will define the core operating system but may seek an open source approach to enhance elements of it.
“The operating system is not something that we will control on our own. We will define its core and then quickly include open source components, to create standards. This will create opportunities for partnerships,” Senger said.
Adopting an open source approach to development with external partners is a new approach, Senger said.
“This is almost unimaginable for traditional carmakers. But this is the key breakthrough opportunity.”
In January, Volkswagen launched Car.Software, an independent unit responsible for developing lines of code, with around 3000 digital experts and a budget of more than 7 billion euros (A$11.5 billion).
By 2025 it wants to have more than 10,000 software experts.
Senger said it has received many inquires from other carmakers about whether they can participate in the project.
“We are in the process of looking at the opportunities,” Senger said, adding that Volkswagen wants to create a new system, rather than integrate legacy software from rivals.
“This will filter out many who are not willing to do this,” Senger said about potential partners.

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US Congress seeks answers on Juniper Networks breach amid encryption fight – Networking – Security- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

A group of US lawmakers preparing to fight a legislative attack on encrypted communications is trying to establish what happened when encryption was subverted at a Silicon Valley maker of networking gear.
Democrat Ron Wyden, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the 2015 incident at Sunnyvale-based Juniper Networks could shed light on the risks of compromised encryption before an expected hearing on the proposed legislation.
The EARN IT Act could penalise companies that offer security that law enforcement can’t easily penetrate.
“Attorney General (William) Barr is demanding that companies like Facebook weaken their encryption to allow the Department of Justice to monitor users’ conversations,” Wyden told Reuters.
“Congress and the American people must understand the serious national security risks associated with weakening the encryption that protects Americans’ personal data, as well as government and corporate systems.”
In a letter to Juniper CEO Rami Rahim sent late Tuesday, Wyden, Republican Senator Mike Lee of the Judiciary Committee, and the chairmen of the House Judiciary and Homeland Security committees asked what had happened to an investigation Juniper announced after it found “unauthorised code” inside its widely used NetScreen security software in 2015.
Soon after, reseachers discovered the code in question had changed one part of a security mechanism secretly designed by the Tempemail Security Agency (NSA) and widely believed to contain a backdoor for spying, known as Dual Elliptic Curve.
Juniper included the NSA technology before its exposure in the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks about the agency’s method.
Some time later, insiders or outside hackers switched the key to the backdoor, giving access to user traffic.
The FBI launched an investigation that was never publicly resolved.
Juniper did not respond to a request for comment on the letter or the status of its investigation.
Many questions remain, including why the company adopted the technology, what US spies were able to glean through it, and how many US government and commercial customers were monitored in the second round of espionage.
“Juniper’s experiences can provide a valuable case study about the dangers of back doors, as well as the apparent ease with which government back doors can be covertly subverted by a sophisticated actor,” the elected officials wrote to Juniper.

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Microsoft’s DirectX 12 Ultimate graphics API seeks to unify Xbox and PC gaming visuals – Blog – 10 minute

Something to look forward to: Now that the hardware specifications of both major next-gen consoles have been revealed, Microsoft is taking the next step forward by announcing DirectX 12 Ultimate. In addition to adding a few improvements of its own, DirectX 12 Ultimate will attempt to bridge the gap between the Xbox Series X and PC gaming experiences when it launches later this year.
According to Microsoft, DirectX 12 Ultimate hardware, whether it comes in the form of a standalone PC video card or an onboard Xbox Series X GPU, is “guaranteed” to support all next-gen graphics features such as DXR 1.1, Variable Rate Shading, Mesh Shaders, and Sampler Feedback (more details on each of these additions can be found here).
So, that’s the future-proofing part of Microsoft’s announcement out of the way — consumers won’t have to worry about their DX12 Ultimate hardware becoming outdated (in terms of features; performance is another beast) anytime soon. What about unifying the Xbox and PC ecosystems, though? What does that mean, exactly?

That’s where developers come in. Microsoft says DX12 Ultimate will give devs the tools they need to develop great visual experiences for both the Xbox Series X and PC with more ease than before. Ultimate brings all of DX12’s upcoming features together in “one common bundle,” allowing for more seamless cross-platform content creation. If a graphical leap forward happens on the Xbox Series X, it’s likely to make its way to PC fairly quickly, and vice versa.
Microsoft breaks it down as follows:

By unifying the graphics platform across PC and Xbox Series X, DX12 Ultimate serves as a force multiplier for the entire gaming ecosystem. No longer do the cycles operate independently! Instead, they now combine synergistically: when Xbox Series X releases, there will already be many millions of DX12 Ultimate PC graphics cards in the world with the same feature set, catalyzing a rapid adoption of new features, and when Xbox Series X brings a wave of new console gamers, PC will likewise benefit from this vast surge of new DX12 Ultimate capable hardware!
The result? An adrenaline shot to new feature adoption, groundbreaking graphics in the hands of gamers more quickly than ever before!

Whether or not DX12 Ultimate will truly spell the end of the PC’s inherent graphical feature superiority remains to be seen. High-end desktops will probably always have the edge over their console counterparts where pure graphical fidelity is concerned, but maybe we’ll start to see fewer platform-specific visual features as Microsoft continues to push for parity between its two customer bases.

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Israeli spyware firm NSO seeks court sanctions against Facebook – Benchmarking Change- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Israel’s NSO Group is asking a California judge to sanction Facebook Inc for allegedly failing to abide by international law with regards to its lawsuit against the spyware maker.
Facebook’s WhatsApp sued NSO in October after finding evidence that the hacking firm had abused a flaw in the popular chat program to remotely hijack hundreds of smartphones.
After NSO failed to show up in court, a California court clerk entered a notice of default against NSO last week.
But NSO says it had not been served in accordance with international law known as the Hague Convention.
Facebook “lied to the court in their application for default by stating that defendants had been served under the Hague Convention, when in fact, plaintiffs had been told by the government of Israel two days earlier that service under the Hague Convention was not complete, and the application for service needed to be resubmitted,” documents filed by NSO in the Northern District of California court this week said.
NSO asked the court to impose sanctions of nearly US$17,000 to cover attorney’s fees and costs.
Facebook also filed documents this week requesting the court set aside the entry of default so that the case may proceed on merits.
Facebook said it “diligently sought” to serve NSO in accordance with the Hague Convention but Israel’s Central Authority has not yet issued a formal certificate of service.
“The court should decline the defendants’ request to further delay this case,” Facebook said in the documents.
Facebook’s lawsuit – along with alert messages that WhatsApp sent to hundreds users allegedly affected by the hacking – sparked disclosures about NSO’s surveillance work across the world.
The case has been closely watched, both because of the high-tech surveillance angle but also because it was unusual for a major service provider to sue a hacking company on behalf of its users.

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Poland’s CD Projekt seeks age approval for cyberpunk game – Security – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Poland’s biggest video game producer CD Projekt is seeking age recommendations from the industry’s rating boards for its flagship product “Cyberpunk 2077” ahead of the game’s launch in September, it said on Tuesday.
The first-person futuristic adventure game features the voice of Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves and some violence.
“We sent the game to (age) rating agencies … The game is complete enough to be played by people outside the company … These ratings are ongoing. We should receive them in up to a month,” CD Projekt’s Chief Executive Adam Kicinski said during a meeting with journalists.
The company said it is too early to know if the coronavirus could affect marketing of the game.
“If trade fairs will not take place, we will show things we planned to show during fair trades in a different way. The internet works, so we can reach users, even if fair trades are not being physically held,” said Kicinski.
CD Projekt has already sold over 40 million copies of its most popular game, “The Witcher,” establishing its presence on the international market.
Initially published as a series of novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, the game helped raise the profile of the books which were made into a Netflix series.
In January, the company postponed the release date from April 16 to Sept. 17 due to extra time needed for game testing and removing bugs.

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Republican mega-donor buys stake in Twitter and seeks to oust Jack Dorsey – report | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

A major Republican donor has purchased a stake in Twitter and is reportedly seeking to oust its chief executive, Jack Dorsey.
Bloomberg News first reported that Elliott Management has taken a “sizable stake” and “and plans to push for changes at the social media company, including replacing Dorsey”.
Paul Singer, the billionaire founder of Elliott Management, is a Republican mega-donor who opposed Donald Trump during the real-estate magnate’s run for the presidential nomination but has since come onside.
After a White House visit in February 2017, Trump said Singer “was very much involved with the anti-Trump or, as they say, ‘Never Trump’, and Paul just left, and he’s given us his total support and it’s all about unification”.
Trump famously communicates with the public largely through Twitter, at the expense of traditional media strategy.
Twitter made headlines in October when it announced a ban on political advertising. Its use and potential manipulation by politicians of all stripes, from Trump to Democratic candidate Mike Bloomberg, remains a source of fierce contention.
Dorsey, a co-founder of Twitter, is also chief executive of Square, an online payment company. In November, he announced a plan to live and work in Africa for part of each year.
It was reported that those moves were motivations for Singer’s desire to push Dorsey out. Other stakeholders have voiced concern about Dorsey’s leadership and Twitter has seen its share price struggle, although it recently reported quarterly revenue above $1bn for the first time.
News of the Elliott stake saw Twitter’s share price rise on Friday, during general market slides in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
Elliott Management is an activist investor, which means it regularly pushes for change in companies in which it buys shares.
Singer has even taken on whole countries: in 2016, after a relentless campaign, he secured a partial repayment of debts by Argentina, arising from its financial collapse in the early 2000s.
Neither Elliott nor Twitter immediately offered comment.

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Italy seeks to end ultra-fast broadband stalemate – Strategy – Telco/ISP- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Italy on Wednesday urged Telecom Italia and fibre-optic rival Open Fiber to quickly find an accord to merge their ultra-fast broadband assets, seeking to end a stalemate over an infrastructure the government deems strategic.
Rome is trying to engineer a deal between former phone monopoly Telecom Italia and smaller rival Open Fiber to create a single ultra-fast broadband operator to avoid duplicating investments costing billions of euros.
Talks between Telecom Italia (TIM) and Open Fiber’s owners – utility Enel and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) – on combining their fibre broadband operations have dragged on since June but sources have said an agreement has proven tough to hammer out.
CDP is also second’s largest shareholder in TIM with a 10 percent stake. TIM’s other leading shareholders are French media group Vivendi with a 24 percent stake and US investment fund Elliott, which has around a 9.8 percent stake.
The government wants to create a nationwide network while also keeping some form of state oversight.
Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said an ultra-fast broadband network was a strategic asset for the country on which speedier progress was necessary.
“The government encourages constructive discussions among parties to set conditions to integrate existing assets,” Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said in a statement.
Over the past few months, in a bid to press ahead with a deal with Open Fiber, TIM has asked infrastructure funds to evaluate an investment in a potential combined fibre-optic entity.
Sources have said that, under TIM’s plan, a financial partner could help the former monopoly to buy Enel’s stake in Open Fiber while TIM would fold in its own so-called last-mile assets, which connect homes to the network.
But Enel’s boss Francesco Starace has shown little enthusiasm for selling its Open Fiber stake.
In a newspaper interview on Wednesday, TIM Chairman Salvatore Rossi said a quick solution on a potential unified fibre-network project was needed.
“A company such as TIM, which competes on the market, cannot wait too long,” he said.
Rossi also said TIM should remain in charge of the combined network once any deal went through because of its maintenance and investment capabilities.
Earlier this month, sources familiar with the matter said that TIM was set to pick private equity firm KKR as a partner in a potential deal with Open Fiber.
One of the sources had said the U.S. investment firm had also expressed interest in investing in the former phone monopoly’s secondary network – the part that connects street cabinets to subscribers’ homes – which it values at 7-7.5 billion euros.
A TIM board meeting scheduled for February 27 may discuss KKR’s proposals but no decision is expected, a source with knowledge of the matter said.

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Domino’s UK seeks CMO to fire up growth as Emily Somers exits- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Domino’s Pizza UK is on the hunt for a brand boss following on from the departure of its first chief marketing officer Emily Somers after just seven months in the job.
Whoever takes the hotseat will be faced with reviving the company’s sales in an extremely crowded takeaway market and nurturing the brand against a backdrop of ongoing operational issues.
Somers, who headed up marketing for McDonald’s in the UK before joining Domino’s, was hired by the company in August to oversee sales, brand marketing, product development and innovation, reporting into now-departed chief executive David Wild.
Tempemail understands Domino’s is set to directly fill the top marketing vacancy following her resignation. A spokesperson said: “Emily has decided to leave Domino’s and we wish her the very best of luck for the future. We’ll announce her successor in due course.”
Somers declined to comment.
It’s believed the marketer had already kicked off a brand strategy review, designed to make the business less reliant on deals in its marketing and play up to its unique strengths – including its shareability and ownership of the customer experience via tools like its ‘Pizza Delivery Tracker’.
Whoever steps into her shoes will likely take ownership of this fresh blueprint, but they will also have to navigate the myriad of challenges the business is facing from the boardroom down.
Operational woes
The pizza purveyor has close to 1,200 sites across the UK and Ireland which deliver a combined 100 million pizzas each year, the equivalent to more than six every second. However, the UK-listed arm of the global business is currently undergoing a period of flux.
Its chief marketer position now joins chief executive, chairman and chief financial officer on the brand’s open vacancies list and its “complex” long-running battle with franchisees (who want a bigger slice of its profits to offset their rising costs) remains ongoing in the UK.
Elsewhere, overambitious expansion into international markets including Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Iceland have incurred losses, forcing the business to withdraw and focus on its core market.
Earlier this month, Domino’s like-for-like sales growth slowed to 3.9% from 4.5% on-year for the quarter in the UK. ROI fell 1%, compared with a rise of 7.5% on-year. The FTSE 250-listed firm made a pre-tax profit of £30.5m for the first six months of the 2019 compared with £41.7m in the year-earlier period. On an underlying basis, pre-tax profit fell 7.4% to £42.3m, hit by challenges in the group’s international operations.
Standing out in a crowded market
Analysts suggest that despite growing competition from aggregators like Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat – all of which offer a wide variety of cuisine for delivery and takeaway – Domino’s operational issues have come at a cost to not only its business but its brand and customer experience.
Last year, the brand unveiled a new proposition from VCCP, which won its £10m UK ad account from Iris in 2017.
Its most recent marketing campaign has sought to position the chain as the official sponsor of nights in, subverting the fear of missing out (AKA fomo) with a new sensation it calls ‘Jomo’, or the joy of missing out. Under a new brand lead, and strategy, it’s very likely this proposition will be rejigged to better reflect Domino’s position in a space crowded by choice.
In 2010, Domino’s offset a sales droop by improving its online ordering tech, investing money into its in-house team to become a “technology-enabled, nimble, category-disrupting machine”. With competitors like Pizza Hut set on toppling its crown consumers could see improvements made to its app and website to stave off another slump.
Still, Domino’s has maintained its monopoly on the UK pizza delivery market and with a 57% positivity rating in the UK and an engaged millennial consumer base there is still an opportunity for it to grow its share and boost sales in the meantime.

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