Technology Headlines September 2019

TeamViewer Being Abused by Scammers

NSW Police Force have said that TeamViewer is being used in an increasing number of remote access scams going around. Whilst the software is completely legitimate and the vendor is not to blame for the situation, NSW Police have warned citizens to be careful when asked to use the software by unknown third parties. 


QLD Police want Telco Data Held for Seven Years

QLD Police is calling for telecommunications metadata to be held for seven years to help solve more complex criminal investigations, up from its current mandatory period of two years. Citing multiple examples to support the need for an extended retention period for "serious and major" criminal investigations, the only public example provided related to a decade-long investigation into a missing teenager which only saw the offender charged in 2011, allegedly "due to the absence of available telecommunications data".


2.9M Scam Calls Blocked in One Month

Highlighting the need for industry and government to come together on the issue, Telstra blocked 2.9 million 'scam calls' in July this year alone.  CEO Andy Penn has said "Consumers also needed to play a part in the way they dealt with receiving such calls and there had been an exponential increase in the number of scams targeting Australian consumers".


Google Maps Shows Sunken Car

Spotted by a previous resident of the area after doing a google search; a submerged car visible on Google Maps has led to the discovery of a man's remains who went missing two decades ago in Florida. In a report by the Charley Project, an online database of cold cases in the US, the "vehicle had plainly been visible on a Google Earth satellite photo of the area since 2007 but apparently no-one had noticed it until 2019". The family has been informed about the discovery of the remains. 


Huawei Chief Offers to Share 5G Know How for a Fee

Huawei's chief executive has proposed selling its current 5G know-how to a Western firm as a way to address security concerns which would make the buyer free to "change the software code" which would allow any flaws or supposed backdoors to be addressed without Huawei's involvement. Currently banned in the US and Australia with the UK still weighing a decision, Huawei has repeatedly denied claims that it would help the Chinese government spy on or disrupt other countries' telecoms systems.


Suburban Residents Offered NBN Via Satellite

Suburban residents on the outskirts of Brisbane are furious they are being offered the NBN via satellite and fixed wireless - services that are usually reserved for regional areas. Across Australia, just 7% of NBN customers are being offered fixed wireless or satellite but in Samford, locals estimate it to be more than 65%. A petition has been tabled in Federal Parliament which contains 1600 signatures of residents arguing they are getting the worst rollout in the country of any metro area. 


Gartner sees Blockchain as 'Transformational' across Industries 

Research firm Gartner expects the distributed ledger technology to transform the ways businesses operate in most industries within the next 10 years; however, right now, blockchain for most industries is mired between inflated industry expectations and general disillusionment with regard to how it can improve business processes. Gartner has said "Once it has been combined with the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, blockchain has the potential to change retail business models forever, impacting both data and monetary flows and avoiding centralisation of market power".


Australia Needs 100K ICT Employees by 2024

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) has found that if current trends continue, there will be a lack of viable workers across the technology industry by 2024 with 100,000 extra employees and 164,000 qualifications needed to meet demand. Conducted by Deloitte Access Economics, the report shows that technology companies have been growing at an average trend of 2.5% per annum between 2011 and 2018, compared to overall growth in the Australian labour market of 1.7%. 


About the Author

Geoff Stewart is a highly experienced and skilled Technology Director at Surety IT. His knowledge is based on years of industry experience having created customised, stable, well performing systems both for multi-national companies in the UK and Australia and Surety IT customers.

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