Malware, these days, is so good that it simply has to be produced by professional development teams. What's more, the criminals choose their targets with business-like decisions over expected return on investment.
The Full Tilt
Stilgherrian delivers an undiluted dose of criticism and analysis of the ways digital technology is changing our world and the spin that goes with it.
Stilgherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and podcaster interested in big-picture internet issues, especially security, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust. He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide-ranging media career and a stint at running an IT business. He can write iptables firewall rules, set a rabbit trap, clear a jam in an IBM model 026 card punch and mix a mean whiskey sour.
Australia's mandatory internet filter is at least two years away, but Telstra and Optus are only weeks from implementing their "voluntary" equivalents. Where are we up to with this controversial issue?
A popular Sydney Buses app died when Sydney Transit cut off the data feed after just a few weeks, citing lack of server capacity. Developer Ben Hosken is disappointed, but he's more concerned that developers aren't making enough use of the government data on offer.
LinkedIn's soaring share price after the company's recent IPO is only the most obvious example of the current boom in Silicon Valley. Leading the hype is "gamification", the use of game mechanics in non-game business applications.
The key message I got from National Cyber Security Awareness Week is that we're only at the very beginning when it comes to understanding and tackling the issues.
It's National Cyber Security Awareness Week, but it's hard to get excited when the government's entire awareness strategy is to spend less than 10 cents per Australian per year to repeat the obvious.
AusCERT, Australia's largest information security conference, dominates an extended Patch Monday podcast this week, with the latest on Stuxnet, the insecurities of internet routing and the drama that started with a Facebook hack and ended with a journalist being arrested.
NetSuite's partnership with Yammer "adds social" to business software, just like Salesforce.com's Chatter. But is the social buzzword really a business revolution?
From Android outselling Apple's iPhone to the success of Linux and Wikipedia, all are examples of peer-to-peer (P2P) production. According to Belgian theorist Michel Bauwens these new internet-enabled models will transform society, leading to what he calls a P2P political economy.
When O'Reilly reported that iOS devices are logging location data, the world's media went wild.
Pia Waugh, a well-respected geek who now works as a "geek liaison" in the office of Labor Senator Kate Lundy, tweeted once that she finds herself amused at people who talk professionally about social media and online communications with enthusiasm, but miss the role that geek culture plays in the space. I agree.
The National Broadband Network (NBN) has hit a couple of speed bumps. NBN Co reckons that vendors over-priced their bids to construct the network, and earlier this month the entire tender process was suspended. Then, the head of construction resigned. Critics pounced. But Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy reckons we shouldn't get caught up in the "hysteria", but should wait and see what the "Plan B" tender process delivers.
New tools make it cheaper and easier to get a business online. It's no longer about building a hand-crafted website from scratch so ensure it does everything your business needs. It's now about creating your business' presence in the various online services it needs, and making use of higher-level programming tools
Australia's National Broadband Network will provide more speed, yes, but what will come of that? Out of all the technologies and services and ways of doing things that broadband enables, which ones are the trends to watch? How will they change the way business is done?
Work on the social-messaging service Twitter began exactly five years ago today. Now it has some 200 million registered user accounts, but that's only about 10 per cent of internet users, and even less if you take out the spam bots and inactive accounts. Will Twitter ever become a universal service?