News and Analysis
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The role of “Blueprint for Free Speech” (a Melbourne Based group) is to ensure the truth reaches from whistleblowers to the public, including through journalists . The group helped pass wider protection for whistleblowers in the EU and was awarded a prestigious Finanial Times award.
Hackers have stolen bitcoin worth $US41 million ($58 million) from Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges using Phishing, viruses and other means. This the latest in a string of thefts from cryptocurrency exchanges around the world.
Chinese police have been accused of using their mass surveillance system called Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP) to monitor minority groups in the northwest of the country. Human rights groups says this needs to stop.
Small firms (like conveying firms) are the biggest target of money transfer scams due to their lack of cyber security. The homebuyer receives an email from the conveyancer’s email address, asking for transfer of funds for home purchase, unknowingly the bank account details are not correct and the funds are scammed.
City of Perth Briefcam technology to go live before June as part of $1 million Smart Cities trial – 7 May 2019
As part of the “Smart cities” trial, video surveillance cameras that recognise your face, detect your gender and the colour of your clothes, how fast you’re travelling, and then track your movements, will be up and running in Perth by the end of this month. The cameras are able to match faces from live camera footage with any photos supplied by police in the search for perpetrators of criminal activity.
A bookkeeper working for Silversea Cruises has been accused of stealing $3.5 million. Mary Ann Abellanoza from Sydney has been charged with 98 fraud offences, including deliberately obtaining a financial advantage by deception and dealing with the proceeds of crime.
An internal investigation revealed that the mass surveillance operation at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, lacked the data to operate effectively. The database only had 8 million images instead of the anticipated 46 million.
InfoTrack has launched Securexchange to protect lawyers and their clients from the threat of large financial loss during property exchanges. It offers a financial guarantee for online property deposits and the first to offer a solution, which stops the need to share trust account details via unsecured emails.
A hacker has been wiping code from GitHub accounts (owned by Microsoft) and is demanding a Bitcoin ransom to return the deleted information.
The Australian tax authority is using data matching programs to view complex cryptocurrency transactions. The Cybercrime Squad however says exchanges are used to launder money by drug dealers, thieves, fraudsters and terrorists.
Ray Blosser (head of US-based surrogacy) is accused of pocketing the tens of thousands of dollars in payments, meant to go to the surrogates. One Australian couple lost $48,000. Blosser is being charged with wire fraud.
Foreign cybercriminals hacked into Citrix’s (software company) network for nearly five months, accessing and removing Social Security numbers and financial information for current and ex-employees.
Should Australia be partnering with the Chinese tech giants designing a surveillance state? – 3 May 2019
Australian corporations have partnered with CETC (China Electronics Technology Corporation) who use extreme technology to enable mass surveillance. This raises concern for human rights group and creates risks of data being used for other purposes.
Australian whistleblowers have traditionally received very little in the way of overt protection. But things are changing. A spotlight is now directly above corporate Australia, with the public expecting greater transparency and higher standards of governance. From July 1, legislation requiring companies to give protection to whistleblower employees comes into effect, after reforms were passed by the Australian Parliament on February 19.
Mayor Luke Smith from Logan council and seven councillors were last week charged with fraud by the Crime and Corruption Commission.The value of the fraud is at least $100,000 and carries a maximum penalty of 20 years. An eighth councillor has also been charged over allegations she siphoned funds into her own bank account.
Feezan Hameed Choudhary was reaping 2.8million each month as the ringleader of UK’s biggest-ever cyber scam. He phoned innocent customers posing as a bank official, putting on Scottish, Welsh and upper-class English accents and convincing them to hand over personal details, which allowed him to drain their accounts.
Liquidators have failed to track down the man behind an SA construction company (GNC Homes). He is being investigated for alleged insurance fraud and owes creditors nearly $3 million. Many of these creditors continue to suffer the personal and financial consequences of the company’s failure to pay.
The ATO will now use third party data and matching programs to track cryptocurrency, that has been used to move funds within the black economy and hide money offshore. It will also track those who should be paying taxes for capital gains.
The City of Darwin has decided to implement facial recognition software and other monitoring solutions, in order to detect criminal access to unauthorised areas or alert them of criminal behaviour. It will be scanning all faces, which could result in privacy and data issues.
Australians lost at least $6.1 million to cryptocurrency-based scams last year. This is a 190 per cent increase over the $2.1 million reported in 2017, making cryptocurrency-based scams the second highest unusual payment method for losses.
Closer loan scrutiny and lending conditions resulting from the Hayne Royal commission, may mean lengthy loan processing delays, causing concern that borrowers may move to the less regulated “shadow” banking sector.
A report released today from the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO,) looks at the ATO’s use of various debt recovery actions. 159 complaints were made regarding heavy handed debt recovery actions, however the ATO claims it only acts in serious fraud cases.
Apple CEO Tim Cook stated at the TIME 100 summit, that technology should be regulated with greater consumer protection. He stated that cryptocurrencies have the power to bring new opportunities into the traditional financial sector, however reaping these benefits will require a combined effort from government, industry bodies, and private enterprises.
Norav Modi, the “jeweller to the stars”, is behind bars after a year-long Interpol-led manhunt led to his arrest in central London on March 19. According to investigations Modi and his co-conspirators, illegally borrowed approximately $US4 billion over a period of seven years by manufacturing sham transactions purportedly to “import” diamonds and other gems into India, from trading hubs. It has been called the “Great Indian Bank Robbery”.
Nirav Modi (India’s leading diamond retailer) is now in prison of fraud on a truly massive scale.
Anna Sorokin, who was accused of posing as a socialite at some of New York City’s hottest nightclubs, hotels and even banks, has been convicted of fraud. She has been accused of forging financial records in an application for a $22 million loan and other financial crimes.
Chatime (Tea chain giant) is caught up in a large employment underpayment issues in its franchisees and corporate stores. This latest scandal to hit the franchising sector, comes in the wake of a damning parliamentary report into the industry, calling for greater enforcement of powers and penalties and a suite of changes to the franchising code.
Fraudsters are getting creative and leveraging technology to commit fraud under the guise of a dead person’s name. 800,000 deceased people each year have their identities stolen.
17A Right to Information investigation reveals 116 cases of fraud and theft by Department of Education staff in Queensland in 2018. Many of these included inappropriate use of public resources and misuse of corporate cards.
Researchers at Independent Security Evaluators found that one “blockchain bandit” stole $54 million in Ether from wallets with weak private keys
People put a lot of faith into their cryptocurrency wallets, but such faith can be severely misplaced. Researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE) found that thieves are making big bucks by targeting wallets on the Ethereum blockchain that have very weak private keys.