News and Analysis

The following are articles relevant to the Professional Investigator.   Click on the title to make a comment or join the conversation.



ASIC spotlight on Sterling First firms over ‘serious allegations’ of misconduct before collapse – 5 June 2019

A WA property investment and management group (Ferrier Hodgson) that went under last month, was being investigated by the corporate regulator and facing “serious allegations” of misconduct. The allegations include misleading or deceptive conduct, unconscionable conduct and breaches of conduct.

Australian National University: 19 Years of Data Copied – 4 June 2019

Australian National University has detected a data breach that resulted in the copying of staff and student data stretching back 19 years. The compromised data includes names, addresses, birth dates, phone numbers, personal email addresses, emergency contact details, tax file numbers, payroll information, bank account details, passport details and student academic records. Australia took quick action after the breach, but in the process of remediation destroyed forensic evidence that may have provided more clues about the attackers.

The AFP raiding a journalist is about silencing whistleblowers, not the press – 4 June 2019

The Australian Federal Police turned up on the doorstep of the Newscorp journalist Annika Smethurst, in reference to her 2018 article that reported that the defence and home affairs ministries had discussed vast new powers to allow the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) to spy on Australian citizens.  News Corp Australia said that the raid was outrageous and seeks to punish a journalist for reporting a legitimate news story that was clearly in the public interest.

ATO whistleblower facing 161-year prison sentence says he ‘almost died from the stress’ – 3 June 2019

Former ATO worker Richard Boyle became an internal whistleblower in 2017. Mr Boyle alleged ATO staff were instructed to use an aggressive debt collection practice on taxpayers without consideration of their circumstances.  He has broken his silence on the personal toll of speaking up and facing a prison sentence of 161 years if found guilty.

Almost 100,000 Australians’ private details exposed in attack on Westpac’s PayID – 3 June 2019

The private details of almost 100,000 Australian bank customers have been exposed in a cyber-attack on the real-time payments platform PayID. PayID allows the instant transfer of money between banks using either a mobile number or an email address. There is a risk that the stolen data could be used for fraud on a mass scale.

As privacy is lost a fingerprint at a time, a biometric rebel asserts our rights – 3 June 2019

Jeremy Lee, a sawmill worker Queensland, refused to have his fingerprints scanned for a new security system introduced by his employer to replace swipe cards. He was sacked and he lodged an unfair dismissal claim that was rejected. He then won his appeal before a full bench of commissioners. Great article that discusses about the vulnerability of biometric data.

New ASIC cryptocurrency guidance: What you need to know – 30 May 2019

New ASIC clarifications on crypto-assets mean that even “safe” cryptocurrencies may be classified as financial products. Wallet providers, exchanges, intermediaries and many other crypto-related businesses may require an Australian Financial Services Licence to handle financial products. The laws apply to any business with Australian customers, even if the business is based overseas.

CASA running drone detection trial at major airports and Sydney Harbour – 28 May 2019

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is using drone detection equipment at major airports and events around the country to monitor drone use and enforce safety rules. Drones must not to be operated within 5.5 kilometres of a controlled aerodrome, over Sydney Harbour, or over people or populated areas such as sporting events, concerts and public gatherings.

First came the TV appearance. Then the alleged $2 million scam – 26 May 2019

John Killick, Dean Ryan and Joseph La Hood were part of fraud syndicate stealing over $2 million via sophisticated identity theft scams. They managed to create 388 fraudulent customer profiles, opened 846 bank accounts, secured 185 credit cards and procured 15 personal loans, that stole over $2 million over a period of several years.

Obtrusive, expansive, ineffectual: The QLD police’s facial recognition “bungle” – 24 May 2019

An evaluation report, found that the use of facial recognition software during the 2018 Commonwealth Games was completely ineffective as no ‘high priority targets’ could be identified. The revelation has renewed criticism of the dangers of mass surveillance, including its inaccuracy, ineffectiveness and its potential to lead to wrongful arrest.