12 stories this week:


Revenue from crypto scams spike 81% to a near-record $7.7 billion in 2021, says Chainalysis – 16 December 2021
Crypto scammers raked in a near-record $US7.7 ($AU11) billion in revenue in 2021. The 81% revenue surge was paced by a relatively new type of scam called “rug pulls.” A rug pull is when developers unexpectedly abandon their cryptocurrency projects and take users’ funds with them.

Police raids over Parliament House ‘revenge porn’ probe – 18 December 2021
Pornographic images of a Liberal staffer masturbating at Parliament House have been seized in dramatic police raids as part of an investigation into revenge porn allegations. State police are investigating whether a former Canberra man, distributed the lewd images without consent, between November 2020 and March 2021 in contravention of Crimes Act 1900 (ACT) s 72C.

Apple faces investigation after worker safety allegations – 19 December 2021
The US Department of Labor has launched an investigation into Apple, in response to a whistleblower’s concerns about the tech giant. The cases are of alleged retaliation by employers against workers who raise concerns about issues such as employee safety.

The rise and fall of the NT Legal system – 19 December 2021
There has been a decline in the Northern Territory’s legal system. Darwin barrister John Lawrence explains that the major victims are Aboriginal Australians, and women and children, who are subject to domestic violence.

AFP to adopt radical new DNA technology – 19 December 2021
The Australian Federal Police announced they will be using a next-generation technology called ‘massive parallel sequencing’, which has the potential to reveal a person’s physical appearance, biological sex and ancestry. Questions have been raised about the ethical, privacy and racial implications of revealing highly sensitive information about our genetics.

Hacker steals Sydney man’s life savings after simjacking – 20 December 2021
A hacker was permitted to use private details and activate an eSIM using just the Optus online message system, without having to verify their identity face-to-face in an Optus store, which then allowed them to steal his phone number. They then had access to bank accounts.

Scamwatch: Don’t fall for a fake parcel delivery scams this Christmas – 22 December 2021
Australian Community Media has compiled a list of current scams identified on sites such as scamwatch.gov.au, www.cyber.gov.au and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s website dedicated to informing people about fraudulent and dishonest activities. Investment scams are the highest with 149 million lost.


US Secret Service says $US100 billion stolen from COVID-19 relief funds – 23 December 2021
The US Secret Service says around $US100 billion ($139 billion) at minimum has been stolen from COVID-19 relief programs set up to help businesses and people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. The agency says it has more than 900 active criminal investigations, into pandemic fraud.

Fraud syndicate accused of targeting Telstra and big banks – 24 December 2021
Telstra and some of the nation’s biggest banks have been targeted by an alleged fraud syndicate, which has been accused of conspiring to defraud almost $2 million along with hundreds of mobile phones.

‘He needs to back it up’: Leaked cricket drug complaint sparks security warning – 26 December 2021
A confidential phone call between a whistleblower and Cricket Australia’s ex-integrity chief discussing a then-player’s alleged cocaine use and sexual activities has been leaked, exposing serious security flaws in the organisation’s anti-corruption unit.

The hacker-for-hire industry is now too big to fail – 28 December 2021
While the scrutiny of firms that provide hackers for hire has grown, the global demand for offensive cyber capabilities has escalated too. In the 21st century, a government’s highest-value targets are online more than ever-and hacking is usually the most effective way to get to them. The result is a growing crowd of countries willing to spend large sums to develop sophisticated hacking operations.

Controversies, collapses and vindication: Corporate Australia’s hits and misses of 2021 – 28 December 2021
There was rarely a dull moment in the world of business in 2021. Not only were companies dealing with the morass of issues caused by the pandemic, there were also more “traditional” business problems – new chiefs, old chiefs, corporate collapses, serious business injuries, boardroom spats and a bit of vindication along the way. From those who scored hits to those who missed the mark, (and those in between), here are the people who helped make headlines in 2021.