Issue 1411 - Tuesday 20th July, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Western countries call out China's state sponsored hacking again

The USA, Australia and other "allies" have formally accused China of "malicious cyber activities" (again). This time they're salty about Chinese state sponsored hacking groups dropping loads of 0-days on Microsoft Exchange back in March and pilfering shitloads of internal comms from western companies. The US DoJ has also charged Li Xiaoyu and Dong Jiazh with a raft of hacking crimes, alleging they were working for China's MSS to systematically steal western intellectual property from "high technology industries" whilst planting cryptolocker ransomware for shits and giggles on the side. Good timing then for the AFP to kick off Operation Orcus, a "cross-agency taskforce to target ransomware attacks that have direct links to sophisticated organised crime groups".

Fintech lobby group upset about RDTI bias against software projects

FinTech Australia (a lobby group for technology-adjacent finance businesses) complained to a senate committee that the current administrator of the research and development tax incentive has a "a strong bias" towards "laboratory-based experiments rather than innovation and R&D activities as it relates to software and data". Essentially they're saying that the tax breaks promoted as a way to help startups are no longer being interpreted as applying to software related endeavors. Unless you've got lab coats or hard hats, your chances of getting the RDTI is slim. Probably after years of software companies rorting the system.

Government wants to give Telstra over $1b to buy pacific islands telco

The federal government wants to give Telstra a fat stack of cash to buy the Pacific region operations of Digicell, a telco that operates in countries like Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tahiti. It looks like Digicell wants to sell that part of its business to China Mobile and when the government caught wind of this, poked Telstra to put its hand up with the allure of the government paying for the bulk of it. The deal is worth around $2b. Gotta get that soft power in the pacific region and assert our dominance!

Something I Saw On The Internet

HalloApp is a new social network app from former WhatsApp employees

Two early WhatsApp employees have made a new social network called HalloApp. According to The Verge, "HalloApp is broken up into four main tabs — a home feed of posts from your friends, group chats, individual chats, and settings — and its overall aesthetic is very minimal. There are no algorithms sorting posts or group chats". In a blog post, the founders laid out their philosophy behind Hallo App, "No ads. No bots. No likes. No trolls. No followers. No algorithms. No influencers. No photo filters. No 'feed fatigue'. No misinformation spreading like wildfire". Looks like a nice way to share stuff like a holiday or pics of your kids with a small group of people.


The End

📻 C-Thru - SUUNS

😎 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon.

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The Sizzle is created on Wathaurong land and acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay my respect to them and their cultures and to elders both past and present.​